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STUDY of Greek religion needs no apology, and should 
need no bush. This all must feel who have looked upon the 
creations of the art it inspired. But to purify and strengthen 
admiration by the higher light of knowledge is no work of 

No truth is more vital than the seeming paradox which 
declares that Greek myths are not nature-myths. The ape 
is not further removed from the man than is the nature-myth 
from the religious fancy of the Greeks as we meet them in 
history. The Greek myth is the child of the devout and 
lovely imagination of the noble race that dwelt around the 
Aegaean. Coarse fantasies of brutish forefathers in their 
Northern homes softened beneath the southern sun into a pure 
and godly beauty, and thus gave birth to the divine forms of 
Hellenic religion. 

Comparative Mythology can teach us much. It can shew 
how gods are born in the mind of the savage and moulded 
into his image. But it cannot reveal to us the heart of 
the Greek as his devout thoughts turned towards his gods. 
Greece sees God with her own eyes ; and if we would share 
the loveliness of her vision we must put away from our 
thoughts the uncouth forms which had been worn by her 
northern forefathers deities, the slough cast off by her gods 
as they grew into shapes of godliness and beauty. True it is 
that in regions where nature and history hindered Greek 
religion from developing its potential riches, that slough was 
still often trailed by the figures of popular faith ; but these 
exceptions point all the more effectively the lesson of evolu 
tion in Greek religion. 


While the plastic fancy of the Greek was actively re 
modelling the uncouth and formless conceptions of barbarous 
faith into moral and human personalities, the Roman went on 
a different course. The sternly legal mind of Rome, which 
looked upon the person merely as a unit in corporations ruled 
by definite law, was little likely to lend human personality to 
its conceptions of divine forces, its numina. Instead of gods 
it worshipped deified functions ; and as the whole sphere of 
the community s political and social life was methodically 
mapped out into divisions and subdivisions, and each of these 
was put under the presidency of its own deified self, the result 
was the Indigitamenta, in whose mathematical precision the 
legal spirit of Roman religion reached its climax. Then 
followed the inrush of foreign worships, and the native religion 

Thus there are few more instructive studies than that of the 
gods of Greece and the deities of Rome. And withal it is a 
study which of late years has met with little general recog 
nition in England, if we can judge by the number of reason 
ably scientific books treating of it. The present translation 
of Professor Steuding s valuable little work has been brought 
out in the hope that the interest of the public is but slumber 
ing. I have added nothing but a few notes to the original, 
and I have altered little, even in parts where my own 
judgment led me to dissent from the learned author. A few 
illustrations have been put in, and the marks of the quantities 
transferred from the text to the index. 

Department of Or. P. B. & MSS. 
British Museum. 

Greek Mythology 



I. GHOSTS, 1-3 ...... I 



IV. WORSHIP, 7-12 ..... 5 



THE NETHER WORLD, 15-18 .... 9 

LIFE AFTER DEATH, I 5 . . . . . 

ERINYES, 19, 2O . . . . . . II 

HARPIES, 21 . . . . . . . 12 

ASKLEPIOS, 22, 23 . . . . . 12 

HADES, 24 . . . . . . . 13 

OLYMPIAN DE TIES, 25 . . ... . 14 


CHARITES, 4! . . . . 2O 

MUSES, 42 . . . . 2O 

HORAI, 43 21 
TERIES, 44-52 . . . . 22 


53-66 ...... 26 





VI. POSEIDON AND HIS CIRCLE, 9 1 -99 . . 5! 






i. THEBES: KADMOS, 123; ANTIOPE,. 124; 

NIOBE, 125 . . . . . 72 
II. ARGOLIS : IO, 126; DANAOS, 127; 

PERSEUS, 128; TANTALOS, 129-131 74 

133 78 

iv. LAKONIA: DIOSKOROI, 134; HELENA, 135 79 

V. HERAKLES, 136-149 .... 79 

VI. THESEUS, 150-158 .... 87 

159, 160 . . . 91 

VIII. THE ARGONAUTS, l6l-l66 . . 92 

IX. THE THEBAN CYCLE, 167-174 . . 95 


186 99 

Roman Mythology, i87ff. 

MANES; (2) GENII, 188; (3) LARES; 

(4) PENATES, 189; (5) INDIGETES, 190 IO6 





NEPTUNUS, 193; (2) IANUS, 194, 
195; VESTA, 196; VOLCANUS, 197; 


(4) MARS, 204, 2O5; QUIRINUS, 2O6 IO8 
III. IUPPITER, 2O7-2IO; IUNO, 211, 212 117 

213 ...... 120 

V. PERSONIFICATIONS, 214 . . . . 121 


BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . .124 

INDEX ..... ..127 


Beginnings of Greek Belief and Worship. 

I. Ghosts. i. All natural religion arises from wonder 
t inexplicable phenomena, from the fear of evil and the striving 
or blessings which cannot be gained by one s own power, 
besides these there is illusion, that is, a belief in the pre- 
ence of beings who are the unknown cause of our wonder, 
vho can free us from terror and gratify our desires. In- 
luenced by love of self, the man who stands on the lower levels 
f civilisation is most zealous in inquiring into the experiences 
vhich come to his notice in his own person and in his fellows, 
sickness and death, as they break the daily course of life and 
brm the main object of fear, claim his special attention, 
fit the same time the phenomena of dreamland, which are 
iometimes raised to peculiar vividness by the nightmares 
iccompanying them, and occasionally also those of drunken- 
icss or convulsion, suggest the presence of powers which are 
lot perceptible to the senses, and yet can influence him some- 
;imes agreeably and sometimes disagreeably. These unknown 
Deings he therefore regards as the prime cause of those phe 
nomena which would else be inexplicable to him. Supported 
ay the inborn wish of every man for continued personal life 
ifter death, there hence grows up a belief in the soul, and at 
:he same time a kindred belief in goblins or ghosts, such as 
still meets us among races which have remained on the lowest 
grade of development, who have no other ideas of things 
beyond the perception of the senses than this belief. 

2. It is probable that the Greeks once were at a like 
stage of thought, though it is unlikely that they were ever 


exclusively dominated by these conceptions. The later cus 
tomary rites of worship, which for the most part come down 
from very primitive times, and the poems of Homer, preserv 
ing as they do much that is vastly earlier than the age of 
their creation, together with the results of excavations, which 
in this connection are scanty, constitute the oldest sources for 
our knowledge of Greek religious life. The most important 
section in the religious history of this prehistoric time seems 
to have been coloured by the influence of the Tribal Wander 
ings and the epic poetry that grew up in connection with 
them. Hence we shall begin by describing in broad outline 
what can be inferred as to the religious conceptions of the 
age preceding these migrations. 

As among most of the Indogermans, burial was the earliest 
form of disposing of the dead. The grave was accounted the 
dwelling of the deceased, who was imagined as continuing in 
bodily life. Food and drink, vessels and arms, were put 
with him ; his favourite wife and the slaves whom he had 
needed in life for his wellbeing were also obliged at first to 
follow the house-master into death. Even in Homer, Achilleus 
at the burial of Patroklos slaughters twelve captured Trojan 
youths, doubtless to make thus their souls serve his friend in 
the world beyond. Later, sacrifices of beasts took the place 
of human offerings ; but many symbolic rites still indicated 
that really the latter were supposed to be slaughtered. 

3. Meat and drink naturally had to be renewed from 
time to time ; hence the Cult of the Grave chiefly consists of 
repeated offerings of food, annually performed on the birthday 
of the deceased and at the general festivals of the dead. To 
the latter class belonged the Nekysia or Nemesia, celebrated 
afterwards by the Athenians in September, and the Clytrcf, 
held by them at the end of February. The souls avenge 
neglect by sending sickness or death ; hence they were called 
Keres, or * destructive ones. Men sought by all manner of 
protective rites to secure themselves from the influence of 
these dreaded powers, and to prevent their return into their 
former dwelling. 


Conceived at this stage of thought, the dead kept the form in 
which they had departed from life ; to the ghost were ascribed 
all the properties of the corpse. By the offering of fresh 
blood, which they lack when once the heart has stopped, 
they may for a time be called back into life and answer 
questions a conception which gave birth to the practice of 
raising the dead and asking oracles of them. 

At the same time a belief existed that the soul leaves the 
decaying body and assumes animal forrrfS In particular the 
snake, as it is remarkable for noiseless and rapid motion, and 
often dwells in the earth, was imagined to embody a soul ; 
but the forms of bats, birds, and later of butterflies, were also 
assigned to the spirits of the departed. 

II. Nether-World Powers: Heroes. 4- Even 
in this age there was a universal worship in Greece of powerful 
beings dwelling under the earth in cavern-like chambers, who 
were styled either Underground Gods (yQovioi) or Heroes. Of 
the latter tales were sometimes told (as that of Amphiaraos, 
in the region of Thebes and Oropos, 172), that they 
had been translated without dying to their dwelling-place 
under the earth ; they nevertheless received offerings of the 
sort usually presented to the dead. They all exerted their 
influence only in the neighbourhood of their abode, generally 
by appearing in significant dreams to those who slept over it 
(incubatio}, and revealing either future events or the proper 
remedies for sickness. They are clearly the lords of the 
souls dwelling in the soil of their country ; their halls may 
have been originally imagined as like the underground temples 
connected with the graves of kings which have been unearthed 
at Mykenai and elsewhere. 

5. It seems to have been generally the reputed ancestors 
(dpx??yTcu) of families who were regarded as heroes, for 
thereby the belief in their former existence on earth was kept 
alive among their worshippers. 1 These were distinguished 
from the common dead only by the fact that they received 

1 See however E. Meyer s appendix to his Ursprung der OJystee in 
Hermes XXX. 


adoration from a whole family, or an association of that nature. 
Their grave, used as a place of sacrifice, formed always the 
central point of their worship. In the later representations of 
art, which are certainly based upon ancient conceptions, they 
usually appear as warriors, because tribal ancestors were gener 
ally described as such, and often on horse, seated on a throne, 
or reclining on a dinner-couch and feasting, 1 surrounded by 

Spartan Relief. Berlin. 

their worshippers, who, as mortals, are drawn in much smaller 
proportions than the heroes themselves. Hence their usual 
attribute has come to be the cup, as well as armour, the horse, 
and the snake. 

These primitive heroes however are even in Homer so 
intimately associated with forms created by the poets them 
selves, their own history and deeds have been so thoroughly 

1 On the so-called funeral-banquet reliefs (on which see 
Mittheil. d. deutschen archacol, Inst. xu Athcn. xxi. 347 ff.). 


transfigured and recast by poetry, that the original element 
can no longer be threshed out. Hence Heroic Legend, great 
as is its antiquity in part, must take the last place in the order 
of our exposition. 

III. Nature and Elemental Powers. 6. Man s 
innate striving to grasp the causes connecting the occurrences 
observed by him is not limited to the experiences which 
concern his own person ; he also contemplates Nature, in 
which he lives and whose influence he feels. As the child 
ascribes life as an attribute to things surrounding him as soon 
as they seem to exert any activity, so the primitive man regards 
as living everything that puts forth a force, moves, or shews 
fertility ; that is, he deems it, like himself, possessed by a soul- 
like being (nature-daemon), which is the ground of its activity. 

Sometimes the display of force observed in a process of 
nature is too great and too prolonged for an ordinary man 
or beast to have produced it ; and then its assumed origin, 
the nature-dsemon, also rises above the level of beast or man 
in power and permanence. According again as it appears to 
man as hostile or friendly, forcible or gentle, creative or 
receptive, he ascribes to the being causing it hostile or friendly 
feelings, male or female sex, without however distinguishing 
it at first from similar daemons by a series of particular 
properties ; indeed, such a distinction was not made even by 
the later Greeks as regards the troops of river-gods, nymphs, 
Nereids, Satyrs, etc. 

IV. Worship. 7. On the other hand, one such soul- 
like or daemonic being in some spot might come as a result 
of peculiar circumstances (e.g. chance success of prayer and 
sacrifices, miracles, healings) to outdistance all others of his 
kind in apparent power, and hence in extent of worship. Then 
the natural seclusion that pathless mountains imposed on the 
districts of Greece made it possible for this being to grow 
into a deity of clearly defined individuality. It became a 
deity as soon as a human community of some size ascribed to 
it power to vouchsafe all that individuals desire and to protect 
them from everything that they fear. 


A deity could have its seat (ISos) in any object at will, in 
trees as well as in stones fallen from heaven, in springs and 
rivers, without men forming a clear conception of its proper 
shape. Later, when they tried to picture it and give it a 
particularly acceptable seat in its own statue, they were 
compelled to frame it in the likeness of an actual living being, 
a man or even a beast ; for it is only from actually observed 
beings compounded of soul and body that men can imagine 
creatures of pure spirit. All desirable properties possessed 
by the former were ascribed in a more intense degree to the 
latter, and they were thought free from all earthly limitations. 
Customary morality grew ; as soon as it seemed worth striv 
ing for, the deities naturally became its guardians, assuming 
the part in which as a rule the gods figure already in 

8. Man thus can conceive superhuman powers only in his 
own likeness, as monstrously strong persons ; and so he strives 
to influence them in the way in which he is wont to deal 
with human potentates. He shews his respect for them by 
approaching them in a humble posture, with a cleansed body 
and in clean garments ; he begs for their grace, and, when 
they are wroth, for mercy or forgiveness ; he gives them the 
best of his own possessions to secure their favour, to express 
his gratitude for graces received, or to make good and atone 
for a fault committed against them. 

9. Thus arise the three main forms of worship purifica 
tion, prayer, and sacrifice. To express humble veneration 
and submission men actually cast themselves down upon the 
earth (irpoa-Kvvelv, supplicare} y or at least lifted the hand, 
with the palm turned upwards, towards the abode of the god 
and of his statue ; and furthermore they fettered themselves 
with bands or swathes, so as to surrender themselves in utter 
powerlessness into his hands. It was for this reason that after 
wards in practising any holy act men bound themselves, as 
well as the beasts of sacrifice and objects consecrated to 
gods, with fillets (TCUVICU) ; and the word religio properly 
indicates nothing but the relation of bondage in which men 


stand to the deity, the tie or obligation which one feels in 
relation to it. 

10. All purification (Ka.6apii.os, lustratio, from 7w) also 
referred originally to the body ; and for this water was the 
chief requisite. It was particularly necessary in cases of 
bloodshed and on touching a corpse, in order thus to escape 
the power of the dreaded spirits of the dead, who by these 
deeds were drawn upon one s head. The notion of liberation 
from a moral blemish was not associated till much later times 
with the old rite. Water from the sea or a spring was used 
because these cannot* be made permanently foul. 

Prayer similarly arose from the simple request, the effect of 
which men thought to strengthen by adding a promise (vow, 
fi/X^h votum). Special set phrases were only employed 
because results seemingly proved them to be more capable than 
other words of moving the gods to gratify the request uttered. 

ii. As an offering (dj/aS^/xa) everything was presented 
that was suitable for inspiring the deity with gratification. 
This consisted of objects which either were used in the ritual 
acts or in the adornment of the temple, or else possessed a 
special value for the dedicator himself. The gift oftenest 
presented to gods was the offering of food and drink ; and 
this consisted of all things that man himself relishes, for in 
earliest times men certainly ascribed bodily enjoyment to the 
gods. Later men burned the sacrifice and sent up merely 
its agreeably scented smoke and savour into the sphere of 
the dwellers in heaven. 

12. Lastly, as men express their will by signs or words, 
an attempt was made to learn the will of the deity from signs 
(repara, ostenta) such as lightning, rainbows, eclipses of sun 
and moon, flight of birds, or from significant words and sounds 
(<j>r)[, KAijSoves, omina). From the former developed in 
Greece the sign-oracles of Zeus, in Italy the auspicia and the 
whole augural science, and from the latter the spoken oracles 
of Apollon. The latter, originally only expressed by signs 
and lots, were later strongly influenced by the ecstatic forms 
of Dionysiac prophecy. On the other hand, the study of 


the liver and the rest of the entrails of slaughtered beast- 
sacrifices (iepoo-/co7ria, bonuftcina) arose from the universal 
demand that a sacrificial animal should be healthy and free 
from blemish. 

In the oldest times so long as the gods themselves still 
dwelt in trees, springs, rude stones fallen (or reputed to have 
fallen) from heaven, and pointed columns (jSairuAos), sacred 
groves (re/Aevos, templum) furnished with a fence (Trept/JoAos) 
served as the place of divine worship ; later the main building 
of the old dwelling-house of man (/xeyapov, aedes}, consisting 
of a hall with a vestibule, was taken as pattern for the abode 
of the deity, the temple (vaos, vews, cello). 

Greek Religion from the Beginning of the 
Homeric Age. 

Gods determined and classified. 13. The pressure 
of enemies moved the Greek tribes to wander southwards 
and over the eastern sea to the islands and the coast of Asia 
Minor ; and by these migrations, which took place about a 
thousand years before our era, a mighty change was brought 
about in the character of their religion. When the races set 
forth, the gods they adored indeed accompanied them into 
their new home and received here new places of worship ; 
and their ritual continued to be practised in their old sanctuaries 
as well, and was willingly taken over by the conquerors from 
a fear of making these gods their enemies. But whereas 
formerly, as it would seem, only one chief deity was 
worshipped in each spot, the shifting and blending of stems 
and religious associations now brought many of them together 
in one and the same district. To make room for all, 
the sphere of each god s power had now to be marked 
out and restricted to a particular department of life ; occa 
sionally however, as one might expect from their former 
more comprehensive character, they overlapped into domains 
belonging to others. 


14. Thus gradually was framed on the human pattern the 
conception which meets us in Homer the idea of families of 
gods and of a patriarchally arranged State of gods, in which 
each several member exercises only the function apportioned to 
him. The travelling rhapsodes and later the poets of the Iliad 
and Odyssey themselves may have had much influence in bring 
ing about a harmony in the mutually conflicting claims of the 
several deities ; but assuredly they did not materially diverge 
from the faith prevailing in their home, the Ionian cities of 
the coasts and islands of Asia Minor. In these communities 
the mixture of different elements of the race must already 
have been an active cause in thus restricting and equalising 
different deities claims. 

Life After Death. 15. Particularly striking is the 
change which now displays itself in the conception of the 
character and condition of departed spirits. Their ritual was 
more closely connected with the original place of worship 
than was the case with proper deities ; for it consisted solely 
in offerings of nourishment for the corpse who lived on restfully 
in the grave. But after severance from the ancestral land, 
the service of the dead buried there came perforce to an end ; 
men could not even carry away with them the relics of their 
universally adored first parents. To this was added the 
influence of the newly arisen custom of burning the deceased, 
which may have been intended to destroy as quickly as 
possible the departed soul s strength and power hitherto 
preserved by attentions to the corpse, and thus to be secure 
from its wrath. 

1 6. In this train of thought the idea of the bodilessness of 
the dead gradually came into the foreground. In death, as 
men saw, the activity of life vanished with the expiration of the 
last breath ; and so they looked upon the breath itself as 
the basis of life, that is, the soul, as is proved by the twofold 
meaning of ^v^> anima, breath, and the like. Hence they 
now imagined the souls separate from the body as airy beings, 
but at the same time, confusing this with their former 
conception, they left them their human or animal form, so 


that they were thought of sometimes as shadowy figures 
(cnaeu, umbrae] or smoke-like images (eiScoAa, simulacra, 
imagines], sometimes as little winged, fluttering, but otherwise 
man-like figures. 

At the same time the features common to all individual 
graves led to the notion of a general abode of souls, subterranean 
like the grave, but unapproachable for man by the agency of 
prayer and offering ; it was sundered from the upper world 
by impassable rivers, such as Styx ( The Loathly ), Acheron 
( Stream of Anguish ), Kokytos ( River of Wailing ), 
Pyriphlegethon ( Fire-River ), and Lethe ( Forgetfulness ), 
from which the departed drank oblivion. 

17. As soon as the body of the dead man has been 
covered with earth, the ferryman Charon transports the soul 
awaiting him on the bank over Styx or Acheron. For this he 
receives as payment the obolos (about i 3</.), which was 
placed beneath the tongue of every corpse, in one sense as 
purchase-price for his property, which else would have to go 
with him. In the lower world the departed, according to 
the belief of Homer, live a sad and empty life of unreality, 
continuing their earthly occupations unchanged but without 
consciousness and active power. Only in a few men especially 
loved or hated by the gods do consciousness and feeling still 
abide there, so that they may be rewarded or punished for 
their deeds on earth. From this realm of death there is 
no return. Hence the entrance, which men in later time 
ventured to identify with various ravines, e. g. at Kichyros in 
Thesprotia, at Pheneos in Arkadia, on the promontory of 
Tainaron in Lakonia, and by the lake Avernus near Cumae 
in Lower Italy, is guarded by the three-headed dog Kerberos ; 
and Charon too ferries no man back over the Styx. 

1 8. The natural wish for a more cheerful form of life 
after death led after the Homeric Age to the conception of 
Elysion ( HXvcnov ireS/ov), the field of arrival, or of the 
departed* (compare eXr/XvOa), which was imagined to be not 
in the nether world but at the western end of the earth by 
the Okcanos ; and hither the gods translate to a blissful god- 


like life of enjoyment many heroes and heroines especially 
dear to them, born to them from mortals or closely connected 
with them by other ties of kinship, without any necessity of 
previous death. In later poets the place of this is taken by 
the Islands of the Blest. 

From the fifth century B.C., as the faith in a retributive 
justice increased, there grew up under the potent influence of 
the Orphic doctrine the idea of a Judgment of the Dead. 
In this doctrine, Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aiakos assign 
to the departed according to their earthly life an abode in 
Elysion or in the gloomy prison of Tartaros, the deepest pit 
of the lower world. 

Erinyes. 19. In Homer however there is as yet 
no mention of such a divine retribution after death. A few 
favourites of the gods are rewarded with a blissful immor 
tality, and he is aware of the punishment of a few great evil 
doers like Sisyphos and Tantalos, who have sinned against 
the gods themselves ; elsewhere however punishment even 
the punishment of murder is left to earthly avengers. It is 
only in the absence of a kinsman bound by law to take blood- 
vengeance that, according to the oldest view, the wrathful 
soul (Erlnys] of the slain itself pursues the slayer. This is 
particularly the case when a man has murdered a parent or 
brother, who otherwise would himself be bound to take blood- 
vengeance. In Homer however the angry individual souls 
have already developed into special goddesses of vengeance 
represented in the sacred trinity of the Erinyes, who in the 
service of Zeus watch over moral order in the world, and 
hence are also called Praxidikai, To soften them, men were 
wont in Athens to give them the flattering name of Semnai, 
august ones, and in Sekyon and Argos that of Eumsnides, 
kindly ones. 

20. Like dogs and birds of prey which as devouring 
corpses were believed to be animated by their souls, and 
probably represented as such in earlier times, the Erinyes pursue 
the flying man-slayer in the form of black winged women 
around whose heads snakes writhe. In their hands they hold 


snakes or burning torches, or a whip the blow of which 
inspires him whom it smites with madness and stupefaction. 
Their dwelling is the lower world, from which they are 
conjured up by the curse of the sufferer as well as by the 
self-damnation of the perjured. 

Harpies. 21. Another kind of ghosts further deve 
loped in the same way are the Harpies (harpyiai, * Rob 
bers ), Aello (< Stormfoot ), and Okypete ( Swift-flier ), 
death-goddesses who are at work in the storm-blast ravishing 
away souls. They are represented with wings and the form 
of horses, later also as winged women or as creatures with a 
woman s head and breast and the body of a bird, shapes 
which were meant to express their swiftness. On the ancient 
relief of Xanthos they carry away the souls of their victims 
pressed like children to their bosoms. 

Asklepios. 22. In Homer s time a few of the 
cave-dwelling subterranean powers formerly limited to their 
own districts (described above, 4) have likewise come to 
be widely esteemed as heroes or gods. One of the most 
venerated amongst them is Asklepios, who in all probability 
had his original home in the neighbourhood of Trikka in 
Thessaly, at the foot of Pindos. His worshippers and 
priests, the family of the Asklepiadai, practised healing as a 
secret science, so that the remedies prescribed by their god 
in dream-oracles and skilfully applied by them were wont to 
have the desired effect. Hence his reputation rose above 
that of other beings of his kind, and his worship was then 
carried further ; it came to Boiotia, where it was con 
nected with the kindred cult of Trophonios at Lebadeia, 
thence to Phokis, Athens, and Epidauros in Argolis, finally 
even to Rome, where the god s name was modified to 

23. Like the dead, he was represented in the form of 
a snake, and in Homer he still appears as an actual physician- 
hero. In Homer he is a son of the healing god Apollon, 
but he is instructed in the arts of the leech by the wise 
Centaur Cheiron. When he recalls even the dead to life by his 


kill, the god of the nether world complains of him to Zeus, 
who thereupon smites him with his lightning. His children 
re the healers Machaon and Podaleirios, together with the 
goddesses bestowing health and healing, Hygteia ( Health- 
iver ), laso ( Healer ), Panakeia ( All-curing ), and Aigle 
Brilliance ). Asklepios is usually figured as a kindly man 
with a shrewd look, standing, and with his upper body bared, 
token he carries a large staff enwreathed by a snake, often 
oo a fillet round the head. 

Hades. 24. Beyond doubt Hades, whose home is 
n the region of Elis, was originally of kindred character to 
Asklepios. By the time of Homer however he had risen from 
he rank of a local god to be the ruler of the universal Nether 
World. Like the dead, he is invisible, hence the very name 
4 idoneus, Aides, or Hades, the invisible one or giver of 
nvisibility (d privative + i8-eiv); this property is attributed 

a helmet usually worn by him, which serves as a cap of 

This all-powerful ruler of the lower world is accounted the 
rother of Zeus and Poseidon ; indeed he himself is termed 
Underground Zeus (Z. x^owos, Kara^oVtos), and like the 
brmer represented as enthroned with the sceptre. His spouse 

1 Persephoneia (or Persephone, in Attic Phersephatta or 
^herrhephatta), and like her Hades as lord of the depths of 
arth is at the same time guardian of the corn as long as it 
ests in the bosom of the ground. In this quality he bears as 
oken the full horn or cornucopia, and receives much worship 
nder the names Pluton ( bestower of riches, in Latin Dls 
>ater}, Klymenos ( the distinguished ), and Eubuleus ( well- 
visher ), while as a god of death he was especially adored 
,t Pylos ( Gate of the nether world) in Elis. When 
>rayers are made to him the earth is struck with the hands in 
>rder that he shall hear them ; and to him, as to the dead, 
lack victims are offered. The dark-hued cypress, which was 
lanted on graves, and otherwise much used in the cult of the 
lead, and the quickly fading narcissus are sacred to him. The 
irinyes, Thanatos ( Death ), and the sleep-god Hypnos, 


who are conceived as like him, dwell in his domain. As 
to the legend of Herakles wounding him, see 143. 

Olympian Deities. 25. At the head of the divine 
State of Olympos we find in Homer Zeus and his royal 
spouse Hera. Their favourite children are Athena, the 
protectress of the weaver s art and friend of heroes, and the 
skilful smith Hephaistos. Somewhat more distant from them 
are Apollon, Artemis, and Hermes, as also the sister and 
brother of Zeus, Demeter the giver of corn and the lord of 
the sea Poseidon. Ares and Aphrodite, deities who probably 
are of foreign origin, have already been taken into the family 
of the gods on terms of equality ; on the other hand, the 
embodiments of the sun and moon as well as the other 
nature-deities stand in the background. The power of the 
goddesses who guide destiny is now in its earliest develop 
ment. Last came the mystic and ecstatic religion of Dionysos, 
which spread abroad in the age after Homer, and by working 
upon the emotions and imagination gained great importance 
at the expense of other worships, which by this time had 
become more formal. 

I. Zeus and his Circle. 26. The origin of the 
name Zevs> which appears in the genitive as AiFo ?, certainly 
goes back like the Sanskrit Dyaus, German Ziu, and 
Latin luppiter, which last is compounded of Diovis (or 70 wV) 
and pater to the root dm ( cast, shoot, shine ), and 
thus may equally well designate lightning or a light-god ; l 
among the Greeks and Romans however this deity certainly 
developed into a storm-god. Thessaly and a part of Epeiros 
once tenanted by Thessalians seem to have been the native 
home of Zeus ; Dodona, at the foot of the ridge of Tmaros 
or Tomaros, specially claimed regard as the primitive seat of 
his worship. In this unusually stormy and hence well-watered 

1 In the Vedas, the earliest literature of India, Dyaus is either the 
concrete sky or else the sky as an All-Father, associated with 
Earth as Mother. He is little more than an abstraction to the early 
Hindu ; the quality of fatherhood is practically the only touch 
of personality in the conception. 


and fruitful region he dwelt under the name of Zevs vaios 
( Zeus of the waters ), as he was elsewhere as rain-giver 
styled tieVios and o/x/?pios ; his abode was in a primeval oak- 
grove, or rather in a single tree thereof, at the foot of which 
gushed forth a holy well. By the rustling of the twigs he 
manifested his will to mortals and above all to his priests the 
Selloi, who after the manner of primitive ages slept upon 
the earth with no cover except the shelter of the trees. 
Thus it was that Dodona stood highest in repute of the 
oracle-homes of Zeus. Elsewhere lightning and thunder, as 
well as ominous birds, chiefly the eagle, which dashes like 
a lightning-flash upon its prey from the clouds, were looked 
upon as the representatives of his will. 

27. The tree-dwelling of the god (Zevs evSevSpos) points 
to the great antiquity of his worship in this region. The 
reason for his being worshipped particularly in an oak is 
manifestly that, before the cultivation of corn was introduced, 
acorns and flesh formed men s chief food ; and moreover 
the thunderbolt, in which Zeus /cepavnos himself descends as 
Ka.Tai(3a.Tr)<; to earth, more often strikes the towering stem of 
the oak than other trees. 

28. Closely akin to the worship of Zeus at Dodona 
was that upon the Lykaion ( Wolf-hill ) in the south-west 
of Arkadia. Here too the oak and a stream were sacred to 
him, though they did not as in Dodona take the first place in 
the cult. In times of continuous drought a priest touched 
with an oak-twig the surface of the spring ffagno( f the sacred 
or pure one ) until a mist arose from it which gathered into 
a cloud (Zeus ve<j>e\r]yeperr)<s) and brought the desired rain. 

29. There was a sanctuary of Zeus that no man dared to 
tread. It stood on the peak of the Arkadian mount Olympos; 
the story ran that he who should intrude into it would there 
cast no shadow, as indeed is natural in the Olympian realm of 
light. The high antiquity of this cult also is shown by the 
fact that it claimed human sacrifices, a cruel custom said to 
have been introduced by King Lykaon, the founder of the 
competitions there celebrated in honour of Zeus 


He once slew a child (his son or grandson) and set it as a 
meal before Zeus to test his omniscience, according to the 
later explanation ; properly however every sacrifice is to be 
explained as feeding the deity. In punishment for this he 
was changed into a wolf (Xv/cos), the type of the flying 
man-slayer. As Zeus has the power to inflict punishment in 
this way for blood-guilt (Z. np.wp6<s), he can also as /ca^a/scrios 
vouchsafe to the penitent atonement and purification (com 
pare 72 of Apollon). 

30. Whilst in Dodona he was probably looked upon as 
the bestower of all good gifts in general, he is here in Arkadia 
the Z. oLKpalo? or /coptx^atos, the dweller on the mountain-tops 
where storm-clouds couch ; and as such he later received 
worship throughout Greece, and especially on the lofty 
Olympos in Thessaly. From these heights he rules as 
supreme god (VTTCITOS, vi/acrros) over the surrounding land, 
like a king from his mountain castle ; hence he is also called 
Z. /JacriAeus. Besides the chief tokens of his power, the 
thunderbolt and the aigis (a representation of the storm- 
cloud with snaky lightnings twisting around, which later was 
commonly figured as a shaggy goatskin fringed with snakes), 
he carries as ensign of his kingship the sceptre. 

31. As lord of the land he protects right and the right 
eous, and punishes all evil-doing, especially perjury (Z. op/aos), 
as well as wrong to a guest (Z. eVtos) or suppliant (Z. 
iKc crtos). The housefather hence makes sacrifice to him as 
the guardian of house and hearth (Z. ep/ceios), the head of 
the family to him as its tutelary god (Z. yeve^Aios) ; many 
princely families claimed descent from him as father of their 
race. As the king advances in battle before his lieges, Zeus 
as champion and leader of the host (Z. dy^rup, OT/XXTIOS, 
(TTparrjyos) leads his worshippers and holds victory (VLK-TJ) 
in his hand ; hence Pheidias placed the winged Nike 
upon the outstretched hand of his statue of the Olympian 

32. His adoption into the system of the Greek gods took 
place seemingly in Crete. The story of the birth and death 


if Zeus is certainly based on a Cretan worship of a sub- 
erranean deity called Zeus Chthonios, whose cavern-dwelling 
vas looked on as a grave. His father appears here as Kronos, 
vho devoured his own children ; but the wife of Kronos, 
Ihea, the \vr\rf}p opei o, a maternal deity akin to the Kybele 
,nd Artemis of Asia Minor, gave him instead of Zeus a 
tone swaddled like a babe, by which perhaps is meant Zeus 
limself hidden as a meteoric stone in the storm-cloud, to be 
hen vomited forth from heaven in the lightning-flash. Suckled 
>y the goat Amaltheia, a personification of the storm-cloud 
hat bestows nourishing moisture, Zeus swiftly grows up until 
le is able to overpower his father. 

33. Through his by-name Titan Zeus is characterised as 
*od of the heaven and sun, and a troop of older powers 
ippear as Titanes by his side. With the aid of other gods 
md of the three Kyklopes ( Round -eyes ), Arges ( Bright- 
Weather ), Brontes ( Thunder ), and Steropes ( Light- 
ling ), whose one round eye is the thunderbolt, Zeus conquers 
;hese Titans and hurls them into Tartaros, the lowest part of 
:he nether world, after having forced his father to bring forth 
igain from his belly the children formerly swallowed by him. 
That this battle reflects the storm, compared to the hurtle of 
a fray, is proved by the names of the Kyklopes who aided to 
settle it. 

34. In close connection with this are the other two 
battles of Zeus with the Gigantes and with Typhoeus. The 
former were reputed to have been the giant sons of Ge 
( Earth ), who rose up against the kingship of Zeus ; with 
the aid however of Athena, the other Olympian gods, and 
Herakles, but chiefly by the thunderbolts of Zeus, they were 
overpowered and buried beneath mountains, under which they 
still burn with the lightning-fire and writhe in agony, thus pro 
ducing volcanic outbreaks and earthquakes. In the Odyssey 
they have already become, like the Kyklopes, an earthly 
giant race hurling rocks, which for its arrogance is destroyed 
by the gods. In the art of the Hellenistic age however, 
and particularly on the frieze of the altar of Pergamon now 



in Berlin, they were commonly represented with snaky coils 
for feet. 

35. In the same way Typhoeus or Typhon ( the 
smoking* or steaming one ) is an embodiment, probably 
of Asiatic origin, and perhaps native to Mount Argaios in 
Cappadocia, of the steam and smoke which bursts out during 
earthquakes from the ground and from volcanoes, as well as of 
the mighty forces there at work. Although he is armed with 
a hundred fire-spurting heads of snakes, he is like the Titans 
hurled by Zeus with his lightnings into Tartaros plainly a 
picture of the seeming struggle that the storms accompanying 
volcanic outbreaks wage with the powers of the depths, which 
at the end of the eruption appear to sink back through the 
crater into the bowels of the earth. 

36. In Dodona the spouse of Zeus was held to be 
Dione. Her name is plainly derived from that of Zeus him 
self (compare luppiter and luno] ; hence probably she was his 
female complement, embodying the fertility which was there 
his leading attribute. Her place, after the cultivation of corn 
had been introduced, was taken in the Thessalian Pyrasos 
( * Wheatland ) by the corn-bestower Demeter, who by him 
becomes mother of Kore-Persephone, the subterranean pro 
tectress and embodiment of the seed-corn. Later poetry gives 
expression to the same thought by connecting the rain-giving 
Uranos ( Heaven ) with Gaia or Ge ( Earth ), who is 
impregnated by him. In the same way Zeus unites in the 
Argive legend with Danae as golden rain, in the Theban 
story with Semele, who dies in his embraces when at her 
request he comes to her in the same form as to Hera, that is, 
as storm-god. 

Hera. 37. In Argos, Mykenai, Sparta, on the island of 
Euboia (probably the centre from which the cult started), the 
range of Kithairon, the island of Samos, and many other places, 
Queen Hera stands by the side of the King of the Gods. 
Her most glorious temple lay between Argos and Mykenai. 
Here, as in the other places of her worship, the chief festival 
was her marriage with Zeus (tepos yuju.os) which was held in 

Hera Ludovisi. 


arly spring. She is the guardian of wedlock ( H. vyta, 
e/a) and the jealous champion of womankind and its 
ights ; the Goddess of Delivery, Ileithyia or Hileithya, is 
ccounted her daughter. Hebe ( Bloom of Youth ), the 
war-god Ares, and the smith-god Hephaistos appear as 
ifFspring of this couple. 

38. A male parallel to Hebe is Ganymedes, son of Tros 
r Laomedon of Troy. On account of his beauty Zeus caused 
lim to be ravished away by an eagle and made him his page 
nd favourite. Like Hebe he sets before the gods ambrosia 
nd nectar (honey and mead ?), and Hebe herself bears the 
y-name Ganymede. About 420 B.C. Polykletos made a 
epresentation in gold and ivory of the Queen of the Gods 
or her chief temple mentioned above. She sat, fully clad, on 
throne, upon her head a crown (stephanos}, in her right hand 

pomegranate, which on account of its many pips was a 
oken of fruitfulness ; in her left she held the royal sceptre 
urmounted by a cuckoo, the messenger of spring. She 
ppears similarly conceived in the noble colossal bust of the 
v^illa Ludovisi, which however has also a connection with 
he school of Praxiteles. 

39. With special reference to the moral side in the 
haracter of Zeus, which later was in the foreground, the 
chool of allegorical poetry describes Metis or Wisdom and 
Themis or Law as wives of this god, and makes him beget 
>y the latter the Horai Eunomia ( Lawfulness ), Dike 
Right ), and Elrene ( Peace ), as well as the Moirai 
r fate-goddess who determine the arrangement of the human 
ot. For the same reason he is accounted the father of the 
^harites and Muses. 

40. The artistic ideal of Zeus was created, in accord- 
nee with the conception dominant in Homer, by Pheidias 
bout 435 B.C. for the temple in Olympia, where the great 
lational games were celebrated in his honour. The ancients 
hemselves believed that the artist was inspired in his work 
y the words of the Iliad (i. 528 ff.) " Spake the son of 
Cronos and nodded thereto with swart brows, and the 


ambrosial locks of the king rolled backward from his 
immortal head, and the heights of Olympos quaked." 
The head from Otricoli, produced about a century later 
under the influence, as it seems, of Praxitelean art, gives 
also the same general impression of majestic power and god 
like calm, combined with gentleness and clearness of thought. 

CharltCS. 41. These (the Latin Gratiae) apparently 
passed from kindly bestowers of fruitfulness into goddesses 
of winsome grace. They were adored in Orchomenos of 
Boiotia under the symbol of three rough stones, which were 
perhaps believed to have fallen from heaven. In other places 
they were represented even in very early times as three maidens 
in long garments, standing behind one another, and holding 
in their hands musical instruments, flowers, fruit, and fillets 
(raivtat), so that they are not to be distinguished from Muses 
or Nymphs. From the fifth century B.C. they are united in 
a group holding one another s hands ; it is not until the third 
century that they are figured as quite naked and embracing 
one another. 

In the Iliad there is a single Charis, the wife of Hephaistos ; 
Homer, however, knows also a whole family of Charites. 
Their names are usually Euphrosyne ( Mirth ), Thale ia or 
Thalia (< Joy-of-Life, Revel ), and Agldla ( Splen 
dour ), by which they are characterised as goddesses of 
cheerful social life, although in origin they may have been 
closely akin to the Horai. 

Muses. 42. Their fondness for the dance and the music 
accompanying it is shared by the Muses (Musai, Seekers 
or Discoverers *), goddesses perhaps of Thracian origin and 
daughters of Zeus by Mnemosyne ( Memory ). These were 
especially worshipped in connection with Dionysos, Apollon, 
and the singer Orpheus, the representative of Dionysiac 
poetry in the district of Pieria, on Olympos, and on 
the Boiotian Helikon, at holy springs {Aganippe y&& Hippokrene 

1 The most recent etymology connects the name with Lat. mans, 
so that it would mean mountain-goddesses. 


on Helikon, Kastalia on Parnassos). Their number is not yet 
mentioned in the Iliad and older parts of the Odyssey ; in a 
later section of the latter and in Hesiod they appear in the 
usual number of nine. It was not however until later times 
that their domains were more exactly determined, as follows 
Kalliope ( Sweet- voiced ) holds as muse of heroic song 
and elegy a writing-tablet and style; Kleio ( Glorifier ), 
as muse of warlike song and history, a roll ; Euterpe 
f Delighter ), as muse of lyric, a double flute; Thaleia 
( Joy ), as muse of comedy, a comic mask; Melpomene 
( Songster ), as muse of tragedy, a tragic mask; Terpsi 
chore ( Dance-gladdened ), as muse of choral lyric and 
dance, a great lyre; Urania ( Heavenly ), as muse of 
astronomical epos and instructive poetry in general, a globe ; 
Erato ( Charming ), as muse of amorous song, a small 
lyre; finally Polymnia ( She of many hymns ) practises 
ritual song and dance, and therefore appears veiled and 
cloaked. From the mimic dance practised in some places 
during the ritual, the connection of the Muses with the 
pantomimus may have afterwards developed. 

Moral. 43. On the other hand, the Horai, as their 
name tells us, were representatives of the seasons (wpai). As 
men in older times distinguished only three seasons, there are 
three Horai corresponding to these three divisions, and typified 
as blooming maidens. In Attica indeed only two were known 
Thallo ( Blossoming one ) and Karpo ( Fruit-bringer ). 
In Homer they open and close the gate of heaven, that is, 
they lead the clouds hither and away again ; and in later times 
also they are accounted bestowers of rain and dew. In art 
the regularity of their return was expressed by representing 
them as engaged in dance ; but at the same time it caused 
them to be regarded as protectresses of order, whence they 
were elsewhere styled Eunomia ( Lawfulness ), Dike 
( Right ), and Eirene ( Peace ). Eirene however was 
much worshipped in Athens also ; her bronze statue, the 
creation of Kephisodotos, stood above the market-place. She 
held here the child Plutos ( Wealth ) on her arm; for 


wealth thrives in peace. An imitation of this work is to be 
found in Munich. 

The mother of these Horai is Themis ( Law ), who 
often bore the by-name Soteira ( Saviour ), and possessed 
sanctuaries in Athens, Delphoi, Thebes, Olympia, and 
Trozen. She was conceived as a woman of severe and grave 
aspect, with the horn of plenty and the balance as symbol of 
deliberative justice. 

II. Qe, Demeter and Kore:Bleuslnlan Mysteries. 
44. Gaia or Ge ( Earth ) is the broad-bosomed great 
mother of all, who bears men, animals, and plants ; she was 
worshipped in Athens as Kurotrophos ( Fosterer of youth ), 
and here, as often elsewhere, connected with Zeus the be- 
stower of fruitfulness. But because she takes back into her 
bosom all that has died, she is at the same time a death- 
goddess ; she knows the secrets of the realm of the dead that 
lies within the earth, and hence she was questioned as an 
oracle-goddess over rifts in the ground which seemed to lead 
down into that realm, especially at Aigai in Achaia ; the 
real belief was probably that she sent up the dead themselves 
to be questioned. Later indeed her oracles were often 
supplanted by those of Apollon. 

As Kurotrophos she is seated, holding children and fruits in 
her lap, while kine and flocks graze at her feet. Far more 
often however she is conceived as a gigantic woman, with 
the upper body more rarely the head alone rising up from 
the earth ; and in this form she usually hands over her son 
Erichthonios to the care of Athena. In later times she is 
couched, with a horn of plenty in her hand, upon the earth ; 
and this form of representation was copied in the personi 
fications of individual countries, islands, and cities, the last of 
which are often more exactly designated by a rampart-crown. 

45. Among the goddesses of the receptive fertility of 
earth Demeter ( Earth-Mother, from p.rrrtip} y the guardian 
of the corn that serves as man s chief nourishment, stands in 
particularly high esteem. Her supposed parents are Kronos, 
the sun-god ripening the fruit of the fields, and Rhea, who in 


her character is closely connected with her. Her by-names 
Chloe ( Green-yellow ), Karpophoros, Sito, and lulo 
( Bestower of fruit, corn, and sheaves ) mark her out as 
protectress of the cornfield, as does the fact that offerings 
were made to her of the first-fruits of the harvest. 

In Homer too the fair-tressed Demeter, the spouse of 
Zeus worshipped in the Thessalian Pyrasos ( wheatland ), 
is only goddess of the cultivation of corn, so that as a rule she 
seems to dwell not on Olympos but in the arable field ; and 
she is similarly represented in the sacred hymn containing her 
legend which was composed before the age of Solon in 

46. This hymn relates that the daughter of Demeter and 
Zeus, Kore, was gathering spring flowers in company with 
the Okeaninai or daughters of Okeanos ( fountain-nymphs ) 
on a meadow which according to later story lay near Enna 
in Sicily. As amongst these she was plucking the death- 
flower of the narcissus, the earth suddenly opened ; Hades, 
the lord of the nether world, arose therefrom and ravished 
away Kore from the circle of her playmates. Without touch 
ing food her mother sought her with torches in her hands for 
nine days until she learned from Hekate or Helios who it was 
that had carried her off. When Zeus refused her prayer for 
the restoration of her daughter, she hid herself in wrath at 
Eleusis and stopped all growth of corn. Not until Zeus in 
consequence of this had determined that Kore should spend 
but one-third of each year in the nether world did she return 
to Olympos and bestow again fruitfulness on the corn. The 
denial of complete restoration is explained by the story that 
Kore had accepted from her husband and eaten the pip of a 
pomegranate, a symbol of fertilisation. 

47. This tale was later interpreted as a picture of the 
growth of the seed-corn ; but among all Indogermans we 
actually find the notion of a close connection between child 
and corn, between human procreation and the cornfield s 
fertility, and hence the attempt was made to conjure up the 
latter by symbolic acts of apparent indecency which strictly 


referred to the former. For this reason, according to Cretan 
legend, lasion begot Plutos (i. e. foison, wealth) by Demeter 
in the thrice-ploughed field ; and on the other hand 
Demophon, the frail little son of King Keleos of Eleusis, 
thrives like the seed-corn under the goddess care. 

48. Obviously kindred to Demophon is another Eleu- 
sinian foster-son of Demeter, the hero Triptolemos ( Thrice- 
plougher ), who was worshipped as first apostle of agriculture 
and founder of the Eleusinian cult. Demeter sent him abroad 
on her own car drawn by snakes, equipping him with tools 
of husbandry and seed-corn, to teach men agriculture and the 
gentler moral life and political order that spread in its train. 
Demeter herself was hence praised as Thesmophoros (< Law 
giver ), especially at the feast of the Tkesmopboria, celebrated 
in the month of sowing, Pyanopsion. 

49. She had her chief seat at Eleusis near Athens, 
where she was worshipped in both public and privy celebrations 
( Mysteries ) with Kore ( the Maid ), her daughter by 
Zeus, and with the young lacchos, who is probably the god 
Dionysos-Bacchos or Sabazios introduced from Athens into 
this cult. lacchos was here accounted a son sometimes of 
Demeter, sometimes of Kore and Underground Zeus or 
Hades-Pluton, who also had here from earliest times a temple 
next to a cavern. Pluton and Kore are in inscriptions here 
always termed the God and the Goddess ; mother and 
daughter again are described together as the Worshipful 
Ones or the Mistresses. 

50. Every year in Boedromion (September October) 
the people of Athens marched along the sacred road to 
Eleusis in festal procession, in which corn-sheaves were borne 
in thanks for the vouchsafed harvest. At Eleusis was held 
in the darkness of night a round-race with torches, which in 
all probability referred originally to the renewal of light in 
the spring, but was commonly interpreted by the story of 
the goddess herself seeking her ravished daughter by torch 
light. To the initiated (mystai} were shown the holy symbols 
of the goddess, and to remind them of her grace to mankind 


in bestowing corn they were presented after a long fast with 
a draught or gruel of water and meal seasoned with calamint, 
in which form undoubtedly the gifts of Demeter had been 
enjoyed in earliest times (compare the puts of the Romans). 
Finally they poured out water, as rain-magic, and exclaimed 
while gazing up to heaven uc ("rain! ") and while looking 
down upon the earth KVC ("conceive ! ") 

51. The performances however which later raised the 
Eleusinian Mysteries above all other communions only 
developed after the time of Solon and the Peisistratids, and 
were a result of the desire to give a more cheerful form to the 
idea of the soul s existence after death than that which had 
hitherto prevailed. From this age onward the main object was 
certainly to assure the initiated of a happy life in the next 
world. The belief in this was probably aroused by represent 
ing the wandering of a dead man through the terrors of the lower 
world ; at the same time the Hierophant declared which way 
was to be taken and by what incantations the dangers were 
to be warded off, in order to finally arrive in safety at the fields 
of bliss, which were perhaps shown as the concluding picture. 
The initiation of itself vouchsafed this comforting prospect; 
a moral life was by no means demanded as preliminary con 
dition, hence no influence in raising morality can be attributed 
to the Mysteries. As a prelude to these Great Mysteries were 
held in Athens itself the Little Mysteries in the * Flower- 
Month Anthesterion (February March) ; in these the 
members of the community who were to be initiated in the 
autumn went through a preliminary consecration. 

52. In Arkadia Demeter was connected with Poseidon 
Hippios or Phytalmios ; and her daughter was there styled 
Despoina, ( Mistress. The latter, as spouse of Hades, has the 
name Persephone ( desolating slayer ?); she is the grey 
death-goddess and queen of the nether world, whilst in the 
Mysteries she seems, in consequence of her legend, to have 
been glorified as a comforting example of blissful life in the 
world below and of resurrection. In earlier art no fixed 
representation of Demeter has been developed ; she is how- 


ever always figured as motherly and fully clad. As typical 
attributes she holds wheat-ears and the poppy, a sceptre or 
a torch. Her daughter is only distinguished from her by 
youthful girlish form; both are often found enthroned or 
standing side by side. 

III. Athena, Hephaistos, Prometheus, Hestia. 
53. Athena ( Adrjvr], AOrjvaia, A9rjva) was from earliest 
ages worshipped almost everywhere in Greece and the colonies ; 
her cults cannot be traced emerging one from another. More 
than any other deity she appears from the beginning as a 
fully developed moral personality; she is goddess of the battle 
and council, as well as of all skill in art ( A. epydvrj), but 
especially of weaving and navigation, and hence is protect 
ress of cities in which these arts were tended ( A. TroAia s, 
iroXtoiS^os). In the Aiolic and Ionic stocks she is often con 
nected with Poseidon, among the Dorians with Zeus. Most 
of all she was worshipped in the city bearing her name, 
Athens, on whose citadel Poseidon-Erechtheus stood by her 
side as an almost equally respected god of the land. Here 
was shown the olive-tree which in the contest for lordship 
she had made to shoot forth as her gift from the earth by 
a blow of her spear, near to the salt spring raised up by 
the trident of her rival. Above the latter arose later the 
Ionic building of the Erechtheion ; and immediately by its 
side, over against her olive-tree, stood the old temple of 
Athena Polias with her wood-carven statue, which legend 
declared to have fallen from heaven. 

54. This statue, like all old representations of the god 
dess, was a Palladion, that is, an upright wooden figure with 
the spear brandished for assault ( A. 7rpo/x,a^o9), and was 
clothed with a real garment (j>eplos} made every year anew 
by the noblest women of Athens. On the same citadel, by 
the road leading up to it, Athena had as Nike a small Ionic 
temple, now almost built up again from its ruins, and an altar 
as Hygieia. In worship these places always stood in the 
highest respect ; but in outward splendour and artistic value 
they were far surpassed by the mighty Doric Parthenon, the 

Demeter. British Museum. 


building of which was begun in the year 447 B.C. at the order 
of Perikles by Iktinos, and which was adorned with sculpture 
by Pheidias. 

55. Erechtheus, who later is also called Erichthonios, 
appears as a by-name of Poseidon ; in the Iliad however he 
is still an earth-born king of the Attic land. Athena 
takes him as a child under her care from his mother, the 
Earth, and hands hina over, concealed in a basket, to the 
charge of the Dew-sisters Aglauros, Herse ( Dew ), and 
Pandrosos ( All-dew ). Despite the prohibition of the 
goddess the two former open the basket, but are seized with 
madness at the sight of the snake-shaped babe, and hurl 
themselves down from the rock of the citadel (a reference 
perhaps to springs and watercourses). Later Erechtheus- 
Erichthonios was believed to be incarnated in the sacred 
snake of the Akropolis kept in the Erechtheion a proof that 
he was originally a god dwelling in the depths of earth, 
and causing both the fertility of the land and death (com 
pare 3 f.). 

56. His father was reputed to be Hephaistos, who was 
venerated in the same place. To the latter and to Athena in 
common were held the exceedingly ancient Chalkeia ( Smith- 
feast ), in which the invention of the plough and the birth of 
Erechtheus were celebrated. Athena again was thanked at 
the Procharisteria, in company with the goddesses of Eleusis, 
for the germination of the seed ; and in the same way she 
was entreated to avert the heat of summer at the Skirophoria, 
in which the priest of Erechtheus held over himself a large 
white sunshade. At the same season young girls at the 
Arrhephoria (Errhephoria or Ersephoria, festival of dew- 
bearing ) carried veiled statues from the temple of Athena 
Polias down into the Gardens of Aphrodite and took 
others thence back into the citadel. 

57. The Kallynteria was a festival of temple-purification, 
while at the Plyntma the garments and the wooden statue of 
the goddess herself were brought down to the sea and 
washed. As tutelary goddess of husbandry Athena was also 


honoured by solemn ploughing at the foot of the citadel in 
the beginning of sowing-time, and above all by the ancient 
harvest-festival of the Panatbenaia from the 24th to the 2Qth 
Hekatombaion (beginning of August), which from the age 
of Peisistratos was celebrated with especial splendour every 
five years. A torch race, competitions of musicians and 
dancers, and races of warships were held in it. The chief 
day of the festival was on the 2 8th, the birthday of the 
goddess ; on it she was presented with the new robe (peplos] 
embroidered by Athens noblest women, which during the 
solemn procession through the city was fixed like a sail on a 
car made in the shape of a ship. Priests, old men, women, 
maidens, and the whole male population capable of bearing 
arms accompanied it with a display of the utmost pomp up 
the Akropolis to the goddess old temple. The magnificent 
reliefs on the frieze of the cella of the Parthenon even at this 
day bring this procession before our eyes. 

58. As old and widespread as these religious conceptions 
is the tale of Athena s birth from the head of Zeus, which 
Hephaistos or another god split open with the blow of an 
axe. With a loud shout of victory she springs forth from it 
fully armed. This is plainly a representation of the storm- 
cloud split asunder by the lightning ; in Crete Athena was 
actually reputed to have sprung forth from a cloud burst 
open by Zeus. 

59. This physical meaning is further implied in the 
legend of a demi-goddess who originally was very closely akin 
to her, the Gorgo Medusa ( the observant one with awful 
glances ) , to whom later legend added two immortal sisters. 
The Gorgon s garb is black as the storm-cloud, her fiery 
glance petrifies, as the lightning s stroke stupefies or slays man ; 
her roar is the rumble of thunder ; wings bear her through 
the air. When Medusa s head is cut off, there springs from 
her body the giant Chrysaor ( Gold-Sword ), the golden- 
glistening lightning, and the winged horse Pegasos, the 
thunder-cloud, the blow of whose hoof (lightning) makes to 
gush forth on Helikonthe Muses spring Hippokrene ( Horse- 


Fountain ) that inspires all poets. After having served 
Bellerophon, Pegasos carries in heaven the thunderbolts of 
Zeus. The Gorgon s head Athena wears on her aigis ( 30), 
which belongs to her as well as to her father Zeus. 

60. As inventor and guardian of the crafts of spinning 
and weaving she transforms the skilful Lydian webster 
Arachne ( Spider ), who dares to enter into contest with 
her, into a spider. Once she had come to be accounted the 

Medusa Rondanini. Munich. 

inventor of this craft, which is of such importance in a simple 
society, many other discoveries of the same kind were also 
ascribed to her. This is probably the reason that she has 
developed into the goddess of wisdom generally, and thus 
into the patroness of science ; hence in Hesiod Metis 
( Shrewdness ) appears as her mother. But this idea may 
also have been helped into life by the conception of her 
brightly gleaming glance (yXav/cwTrts) 1 a property betokening 
1 For the same reason the owl (y\av) is her sacred bird. 


in man intellectual life, and no doubt belonging to her origin 
ally from her connection with the lightning and perhaps 
also by that of the soul s fiery nature ; for on the same 
ground the divine smiths and fire-gods, Prometheus and 
Hephaistos, were credited with having moulded men and 
inspired them with life. 

61. Her ideal representation in art was the creation of 
Pheidias, who modelled not only the type of the so-called 
Athena Promachos in the colossal bronze statue l set up in the 
open air upon the Akropolis, but also that of the sfthena 
Parthenos ( Maiden ) in gold and ivory, holding Nike 
( Victory ) in her right hand, for the Parthenon. She 
appears always as severe and grave, calm and with an ex 
pression of clear intelligence, regularly in a long garment, and 
often characterised by the aigis worn over it. 

62. Hephaistos, who in worship and legend was closely 
connected at Athens with Athena, is a god of fire, who is at 
times completely identified with this his element. He is the 
patron of smiths and all metal-workers in general, and it was 
evidently their guild which raised him to such high esteem in the 
busy industrial city of Athens. From this guild undoubtedly 
arose also the ward of the Hephaistiadai, where he had a 
sanctuary. Beside the Chalkeia (see 56), he and Athena 
were honoured in Athens by the family festival of the 
Apaturla ; and for him alone were held the Hephaisteia with 
a torch-race in the Kerameikos, the artisans quarter, a custom 
that was also practised elsewhere. He was further invoked 
as protector against conflagrations. 

63. His second and perhaps his oldest place of worship 
is Lemnos, where the earth-fire blazing on the top of mount 
Mosychlos gained for him universal adoration. He was 
here accounted incidentally a god of healing ; but he is above 
all a smith-god. By his side stands his teacher or comrade 
Kedalion ; when later his smithy was localised in the vol 
canoes of Sicily and the Lipari Islands, the Kyklopes were 

1 The design was probably carried out by one of his pupils. 

Varvakeion Athena. A them. 


also joined with him as assistants. As the lame often practised 
the smith s craft, its god was conceived as lame and possessed 
of powerful arms and feeble legs. In general he was com 
pletely equipped with the costume and attributes of this craft, 
and hence depicted in a workman s short garment with hammer, 
tongs, and cap. 

64. Legend related that Hephaistos was born of Hera 
in a quarrel with Zeus (i.e. in the storm), but that owing to 
his lameness he was thrown down by his mother into the sea 
and there tended by the sea-goddesses Thetis and Eurynome ; 
or Zeus was said to have hurled him down upon the island of 
Lemnos because he supported his mother in a dispute. Both 
stories signify the descent of the heavenly fire upon the earth ; 
and indeed flame may actually have become known to man in 
the first instance as lightning-fire. Led back by Dionysos 
into heaven, he forges weapons and ornaments for the gods. 
In accordance with the idea that love is a fiery power, his 
wife in the Iliad is Charis, the goddess of grace and of spring, 
and later always the love-goddess Aphrodite herself. 

65. Prometheus ( Forethought ), very closely akin to 
Hephaistos himself, was worshipped in his company at Athens, 
by the side of Athena. He embodies the skill, shrewdness, 
and cunning which naturally develop in the handicraftsman. 
Thus he stole fire from Zeus, designing as irup<opos to 
quicken into life with it the men he had moulded of clay, 
and to give it as a boon to them. Though earlier he had 
been a friend of Zeus, he was chained in punishment of this 
offence to a rock in the Caucasus, and tortured by an eagle 
eating out his liver. Hephaistos again moulded the first woman 
Pandora ( One with gifts from all gods ), through whom all 
evils came upon the men created by Prometheus. 

66. Hestia ( Hearth ), the representative of the hearth- 
fire, is still more closely identified with her element ; hence 
in her worship she is scarcely distinguished from it. She 
indeed takes part in all sacrifices in which fire is needful, but 
it is seldom that she is actually represented as a veiled 
maiden in long robes, with a bowl or sceptre. 


IV. Apollon, Artemis, and Hekate. 67. Of all 

Grecian gods Apollon had, after Zeus, the highest religious 
honours in the largest number of places ; his sphere of dominion 
extends to nearly all departments of nature and human life. 
As far as we can trace him back, he appears as a potent 
moral personality conceived in thoroughly human form, a 
power restricted to no particular phenomenon of nature, but 
equally active in all. The origins alike of his character and 
of his worship are veiled in obscurity, although some ritual 
usages indicate for the latter the valley of Tempe in Thessaly. 

68. In the first instance he is a god of oracle ; the most 
highly esteemed place of prophecy in the whole of Greece is 
his temple at Delphoi, which is already mentioned in the 
Iliad. He had similar places of worship at Didymoi near 
Miletos, Klaros near Kolophon, Abai in Phokis, and in many 
other spots. The name Klaros suggests that at one time 
oracles were here given by means of lots (Doric KAapos = 
/<X^pos ; compare 12). In Delphoi, which was also called 
Pytho or * place of questions, the priestess styled Pythia 
( she who hears ? compare tirvOofjirjv) drank from a sacred 
spring and sat down chewing laurel-leaves upon a tripod ; then 
whilst apparently in a state resembling drunkenness she uttered 
significant words which were interpreted by a priest standing 
by her side and cast into the form of an answer. Thus the 
cult of Apollon has close relations with that of Dionysos 
the god of drunkenness, who was also much worshipped in 

69. As the cause of prophetic inspiration, Apollon becomes 
patron of all seers and singers, especially as his spoken oracles 
were commonly couched in the form of verse. He is hence 
the leader of the Muses, and receives as regular attribute the 
lyre invented by Hermes. On the other hand, the fact of the 
oracle being uttered above a rift in the earth indicates that the 
Earth or the dead were in earlier times questioned at Delphoi. 
This is confirmed by legend, according to which Apollon on 
taking possession of this place slew the dragon Python, which 
from its connection with Delphoi was also called Delphyne ; 


for this snake is to be regarded as the embodiment of the earth- 
dwelling spirit of the dead which was formerly questioned 
here (3). The festival games of the Pythla were later 
looked upon as a celebration of this victory. 

70. He stands in equally close relations with the earth 
in his quality as guardian of the growth of vegetation on the 
pastures ( A. vo/xos), of cattle-breeding, and of husbandry. 
He is himself the possessor of herds of kine ; his brother 
Hermes directly after his birth steals them from him, but 
is forced to restore them. Aristaios ( best one ) , a the 
representative of tilth and of the rearing of cattle and bees, is 
accounted his son. In the districts at the foot of the range of 
Taygetos and in the neighbouring Sparta he was worshipped as 
Kapveios ( ram-god ), and the Karneia, a festival of the 
harvest and vintage, were held there in his honour. The 
same meaning underlies the Thargelia at Athens, the Hyakinthia 
at Sparta, and the Delia in Delos. In the first-named, his 
seat, the holy tripod, was brought at times from Delphoi into 
his Athenian Pythion on the Ilissos, and two men (in later 
times criminals) were slaughtered as an expiatory offering. 

71. In Amyklai and Sparta his favourite Hyakinthos 
(the youth ) was worshipped by his side. He was said 
to have killed Hyakinthos accidentally in throwing a quoit ; 
originally the latter is probably a god of death and fertility 
supplanted by Apollon. In general Apollon was accounted 
the patron of youth and of its exercises in the wrestling-school 
( A. evayuvtos) ; he even became the tribal god (Trarpwos, 
ap^r/yenjs) of the whole Ionic race, and led them in their 
wanderings to their colonies. On the other hand he was also 
a god of death for men and beasts, and thus is depicted as a 
terrible sender of pestilence at the beginning of the Iliad. 
His bolts slay dogs, mules, and men : like a cunning huntsman 
he never fails to strike his mark. Hence he is termed the 
Smiter from afar (e/carq/Jo Aos, e/caepyo s, CKO/TOS), and 
looked upon both as the god of oaths who takes awful 

1 There are some grounds also for connecting this name with the 
Latin arista, <ar of corn. 


vengeance for all perjury and as the potent helper in the fray 

72. If however he sends death, he can likewise ward it off 
as soon as he has been appeased by expiations and sacrifices. 
Hence he is invoked as averter of evil (dAet/caKos), saviour 
(cram;/)) and healer (Haidv, Ilai^wv, IIaia>v) ; and Ask- 
lepios the physician of the gods is accounted his son. So he 
is the chief representative of all purification and atonement 
( A. Kaflapo-ios, $oi/3os); for he can grant safety from the 
pursuit of wrathful souls. The laurel-bough with which the 
sinner in need of atonement is swept and the wolf, the type 
of the flying manslayer to whom he offers shelter and expi 
ation, are assigned to him in this quality ( A. AUKIOS, AuKCios). 

Apollcn manifests himself as saviour and protector from 
danger and death by sea as well ; hence he was much 
worshipped by seamen and styled SeX</>tvtos, because the 
dolphin accompanies ships on the open seas in good weather, 
and on this account was looked upon as its harbinger and a 
friend of the seafarer. In the well-known story one of these 
creatures rescues Arion, who himself is perhaps to be regarded 
as a representative of the god graciously guiding shipmen on 
their way. 

73. The story of his birth is native to Delos, the second 
great seat of his worship. He is a son of Zeus and Leto 
(in Latin Latona), and twin brother of Artemis. Pursued 
by the hate of jealous Hera, his mother, after long wanderings 
hither and thither, had at length found shelter and security 
upon this island, which itself had hitherto been tossed about 
upon the waves. Soon after his birth he slays with his arrows 
the dragon Python in Delphoi ( 69) and the giant Tityos 
who pursued his mother, as well as the sons of Niobe for 
their mother s offence ( 125). The Hyperboreioi, a fabulous 
people enjoying eternal peace, send like his other worshippers 
festal embassies and gifts to Delos. Apollon himself spends the 
winter with them ; in the spring he is called back again by 
prayer to Delos and Delphoi. This absence of the god 
during the winter, together with the fact that all his festivals 

Apollo Belvedere. Rome. 


fall in the summer, has mainly led men to explain him as a 
sun-god, an interpretation which appears as early as the fifth 
century B.C., and seems to suit well the conception of the god 
as Delphinios and as dwelling in Delos. 

74. In art Apollon meets us as the ideal figure of a fully 
grown slender youth, beardless, with long curling hair. Usually 
he is naked ; only a small cloak (chlamys} is thrown over his 
shoulder or left arm. As attribute he carries a bow and 
quiver, and this was probably the case too with the Belvedere 
statue. A variety of this type, the resting Apollo, with the 
hand placed over the head, probably goes back to Praxiteles. 

As leader of the Muses again he is figured with the long 
Ionic robe * (chiion), the lyre, and laurel crown, a type which 
was created, at any rate in its more agitated form, by Skopas 
or Praxiteles. 

75. Artemis (in Doric and Boiotian "Apra/xts) is a 
goddess of fruitfulness and death much worshipped by the 
whole race, especially in the Peloponnesos. Originally she is 
doubtless closely akin to Kore-Persephone and Gaia. In 
Peloponnesos she was celebrated at spring festivals, as goddess 
of earth s blessings, not only by the fountains, rivers, and 
swamps on which fertility depends ("Apre/us Xi/xvarts and 
eXet a) and on the tilled meadow-lands of the plain, but 
also in the luxuriant mountain-forests of Taygetos ; for 
through her thrive not merely vegetation but likewise the 
young of animals and man ( A. TraiSorpo^os) . She protects 
wild and domestic animals ; the hind which appears in art by 
her side, as well as the male and female goat, are sacred to 
her ( A. xvayia). As a bold huntress she usually carries a bow 
and arrows, with which she can send death to women also, 
especially in childbirth ( A. IXci dvia). 

76. To the death-goddess men were at one time offered 
as victims, as the legend of Iphigeneia shews ; and as a 
substitute for them at Sparta boys in later times were whipped 
in honour of Artemis opOia until they bled, in order thereby 

1 This continued as the professional dress of the musician when 
it had ceased to be the Ml dress of the Ionic gentleman. 


to satisfy the ancient demand for blood. In the same way as 
she brings death she can also bestow salvation, victory, and 
glory in battle ; hence men invoked her as o-wrapa and CVK\UI. 
In worship she usually stands alone ; but she is also variously 
associated with other bestowers of fruitfulness such as Zeus, 
Dionysos, Poseidon, Apollon Karneios, Pan, Demeter, Kore, 
and Aphrodite. 

77. Sometimes, like the kindred deity Hekate, she 
carries a torch in her hand ( A. o-eXacr^opos). This is perhaps 
the death-torch with which, as Hye/xovr/, she leads the dead 
down into the nether world ; but on its account she is often 
explained to be a moon-goddess, and this is borne out by the 
fact that she was worshipped, as "Aprc/us vovprjvia., on the 
appearance of the new moon. From this point of view she is 
Apollon s twin sister, the virgin daughter of Zeus and Leto, and 
worshipped by Ionian seafarers, who punishes with the utmost 
severity all breaches of chastity. The hunter Aktaion, the 
son of Aristaios, having by chance surprised her and her 
attendant nymphs at the bath, she changes him into a stag in 
order that his own hounds may tear him to pieces ; and for a 
like reason she slays the giant huntsman Orion, who is raised 
to heaven as a constellation. 

78. The many-breasted goddess of Ephesos, viewed as 
the nurturer of all nature, is so like this protectress of the 
beasts of woodland and field that she too may be termed 
Artemis, although originally she, like Rhea and Kybele, 
seems to be only a locally modified form of the great maternal 
goddess of nature and war, Ma or Ammas ( Mother ), who 
was worshipped by the Indogermanic inhabitants of Asia 

79. The nymphs attendant as huntresses on Artemis had 
counterparts in the servants of this Asiatic goddess entitled 
Amazones, figures obviously similar to Ma herself, and dwelling 
on the southern shore of the Black Sea by the Thermodon 
and Iris in Pontos, while Ma had her chief seat in the same 
region at Komana on the Iris. Their legend however was 
perhaps carried into this region from Boiotia, for there is 

Artemis of Versailles. Louvre. 


evidence of a brook Thermodon near Tanagra and of 
Amazons graves and camps in many other spots both of 
Boiotia and of the neighbouring districts ; the Amazons were 
moreover reputed to be the daughters of the Theban deities 
Ares and Harmonia. They fought as bold horsewomen with 
the Corinthian hero Bellerophon, the Boiotian and Argive 
Herakles, the Trozenian and Attic Theseus, and Achilleus, 
who was venerated in Thessaly, Boiotia, Corinth, Elis, and 
Lakonia. Art accordingly depicted them usually as strong 
and beautiful horsewomen with short garments and armed with 
a shield hollowed out at the side, often too the double axe. 
Pheidias and Polykletos made also statues of a single Amazon 
wearied by the toil of battle. That their legend is based on 
some recollection of a former rule of women among the races 
worshipping them cannot be maintained with any certainty. 

80. In Athens, Delos, and Epidauros Artemis bore the 
by-name Exa-n;, S miter from afar, and thus she is in 
character obviously near akin to the independently developed 
Hekate, the daughter of the Titan Perses ( resplendent 
one ) and of Asterie ( Star-maiden ). Hekate was chiefly 
worshipped in Caria and the bordering districts of Asia 
Minor. In Greece proper a real worship is found only on 
the eastern coast ; she was especially honoured in Aigina by 
a secret cult or mysteries. She was there invoked to aid 
against madness, which as mistress of the ghosts causing it 
she can dispel as well as send. When a soul at birth unites 
with the body, she is near at hand, and also when it departs 
thence, at death and burial. She therefore haunts graves; 
but she also dwells in the hearth, for by it the house-master 
used to be buried in earlier times. On moonlight nights she 
herself appears in ghostly form at the crossways ( E. r/aioSms, 
Trivia), attended by her rout, the troop of restless ghosts, and 
by her dogs, which are also to be regarded as embodying 
souls ( 20). To soothe and ward off Hekate the remnants of 
purificatory offerings were left for her at the end of every 
month by the crossways, in the same way as the souls of the 
dead were appeased at the end of the year. 


81. She is the deity of ghost-raising and of magic in 
general ; hence she becomes mother of the sorceresses Kirke 
and Medeia ( the wise woman ). She comes also into 
the closest relations to Selene, the personification of the 
moon ; for the moon can change its form a fact that figures 
prominently in all sorcery and to the night belong all 
the ghostly apparitions of witchcraft. In older times she is 
represented as of one form, fully clad, and with two burning 
torches in her hands ; towards the end of the fifth century 
B.C. however Alkamenes figured her for the entrance of the 
Athenian citadel with three bodies (rpiTrpotroTros, triformis), 
placing them back to back in such a way that one of them 
like the waxing moon always looked towards the left and 
the second like the waning moon towards the right, while 
that between them fronted the spectator in full face like the 
full moon. The bowl and flagon assigned to her point 
perhaps to the drink-offering presented to the dead. 

V. Hermes, the Satyrs, and Pan. 82. Arkadia, 
mountainous and shut in on all sides by chains of lofty hills, 
was tenanted from earliest times, as it is to this day, by 
herdsmen who cared for nothing more than the welfare of 
their herds. Hence they paid especial worship to the deities 
which bestowed on their sheep and goats nourishment and 
growth, and furthered their increase. Hermes, who himself 
bears the by-name Arkas> the Arkadian, has here his home. 
He is said to have been born in a cavern of Mount Kyllene, 
on the summit of which he had from the oldest times a 
sanctuary ; perhaps the story is a memory of his former 
connection with the gods of the depths of earth. In the 
districts lying round the mountain, particularly in Pheneos 
and Stymphalos, festivals with competitions were held in 
his honour ; hence he was looked upon as their patron 
( E. dywvios, cvaycovios), and found adoration in all race 
courses and wrestling-schools. He even developed into 
the model of the skilful (e&coXos, Sta/cropos?) pupil of the 
wrestling-school, and thence also into the bestower of grace 


83. In his old places of worship however he was still 
chiefly represented as the good shepherd, with the ram under 
his arm (/cpio^>opos), and as such he has come down to us in 
many works of art. And as he leads home the herds and 
lost sheep, so as evdStos, oSio?, or fjyep.6vio<i he guides way 
farers on unknown paths. Stone-heaps with pillars in them, 
which served as fingerposts, were hence sacred to him, so that 
the latter were often adorned with a head of Hermes, or 
on cross-roads even with three or four heads, and were called 
hcrmai or herma ia. 

84. In early times all wealth consisted in herds, and 
cattle even served as commercial standard (compare Lat. 
pecunid) ; thus Hermes vo/xios and cTrt/x^Xios developed into 
the bestower of prosperity and fortune in general. He figured 
early in Sekyon near to Kyllene, in Athens, Sparta, and 
many other cities, as patron of market-traffic ( E. dyo/mios, 
e/u,7roXatos), and thus became the god of tradesfolk, who 
spread his worship in all quarters, and even brought it to 
Rome ; here he was confused with the old Roman deity of 
merchandise, Mercurius. 

85. Regarded thus, he later bears the purse as token. On 
the other hand he carries as herdsman s god the hooked stick 
to catch the cattle, which was used also as a traveller s staff. 
Wayfarers and pedlars are in times of undeveloped commerce 
the natural heralds and messengers, hence the herdsman s stick 
passes over into the herald s staff (K-rjpvKuov,caduceus^. After 
the transformation of Hermes into the god of luck this finally 
becomes the magical wishing-rod which raises treasure and 
bestows fortune ; it is then represented as a twisted forked 
twig or a snaky staff. As a wayfarer Hermes wears the 
traveller s hat (petasos], which like his shoes is usually 
furnished with wings to indicate his swiftness. 

86. As herdsmen sometimes stole the herds of others, so 
Hermes on the very evening after his birth drove off from a 
meadow at the foot of Olympos the fifty white golden-horned 
kine of the gods, cunningly effaced their trail, and hid them 
in a cavern. Thus he is accounted the patron of thieves and 


a pattern of their cunning and shrewdness ( E. 80X105). In 
this connection the story ran that he stole his arrows from 
Apollon, and at the bidding of Zeus carried off lo in the 
form of a cow from the watcher Argos ( 126) ; here again 
the theft of kine by herdsmen is the basis of the tale. To their 
god was also ascribed the invention of the herdsmen s pipe 
(avXos, (Tvpiy) and thence of the lyre. 

87. As guide on unknown paths ( E. TTO/XTTOS, Tro/ATraios), 
Hermes becomes the leader of departed souls in their journey 
to the nether world ( E. ^XOTTO/XTTO S) as well as of their 
kindred, Dreams (r^yrjrwp ovupwv] ; here and there he him 
self is worshipped as a subterranean god ( E. x0oVios)j hence 
he may well have been in his original character a god ruling 
over souls. 

88. When he was inserted into the circle of the Olympian 
deities he was made the son of the father of the gods, Zeus, 
and of Maia ( Mother ), the nymph of Mount Kyllene, and 
became the messenger of the gods, a quality which suits his 
former character, and already appears in the foreground in the 
later parts of the Iliad. 

By older art he is commonly figured as a mature man with 
a peaked beard, but in works of Ionic origin often as a youth. 
Subsequently the latter is the standing representation ; he is 
then clad only in a chlamys or is quite naked, as he appears 
in the magnificent statue of Praxiteles dug up at Olympia. 
The child on his arm here is the young Dionysos, whom he is 
bringing to the nymphs to be nursed. 

89. With the herdsman s god Hermes is associated his 
son Pan, likewise an Arkadian, and the Satyroi, sprites much 
like Pan, and worshipped by the Argive peasantry busied 
with cattle-breeding and the cultivation of the vine. The 
Argives assigned to these gnome-like spirits of earth s fruitful- 
ness the form of a goat, for this necessarily seemed to them 
the animal of chief procreative power. In passing over to 
human form the Satyrs preserved from this earlier stage the 
goat s ears and little tail as their characteristic token, as well 
as their connection with wine. 

Seated Hermes. Naples. 


90. As Pan ( the grazer ) was like them represented 
in the form of a goat, he may well be regarded as the type 
of these same spirits of fertility, remodelled after their own 
likeness by the Arkadian herdsmen into the figure of a divine 
herdsman. Thus it is especially his function to make the 
herds increase and thrive. Like the herdsmen themselves he 
dwells in summer in the caves of the mountains, and in winter 
goes down with them into the plain ; in the hot hour -of 
midday he rests, at eventide he blows the shepherd s flute or 
syrinx ; his secondary occupations are hunting, fishing, and 
the craft of war. It is he too who inspires herds, and hence 
armies also, with the sudden panic terror that drives them 
headlong in senseless flight. He is the lover of the moon- 
goddess Selene, probably because moonshine gives to the 
herds a suitable dewy pasture. 

From Arkadia, where with Hermes he held almost the 
first rank, his worship spread through Argolis to Athens, to 
Parnassos, and as far as Thessaly. Later his similar character, 
probably through his connection with the Satyrs watching over 
the culture of the vine, brought him into the train of Dionysos. 
Finally the philosophers, giving a new interpretation to his 
name (TO irav = the All), and identifying him with the 
great goat-shaped god of Mendes in Egypt, made him the 
omnipotent ruler and vital spirit of all nature, on whose death 
all nature s life perishes likewise. He was represented as 
bearded, with the legs, tail, ears, and horns of a goat, but 
often also as human, and only characterised by a brutish 

VI. Poseidon and his Circle. 91. Most of the 
deities of water remained always in the closest connection 
with their element ; only a few of them, notably the lord 
of the sea Poseidon, and the Silenoi, have grown under 
the influence of cult, legend, and art into more distinct 

Okeanos is a mere personification of the ocean itself, which 
flows around the earth like a stream. From him arise 
springs, rivers, and seas, and likewise all other things, includ- 


ing the gods themselves a doctrine agreeing with the physical 
conceptions of the oldest philosophers, and suggested by the 
insular position of Greece. He is hence represented as a 
fatherly old man. He dwells with his wife Tethys ( nurse, 
grandmother ) on the western border of the earth, without 
visiting the congregation of the gods. The aAios yepwv, or 
Old Man of the Sea, while resembling Okeanos, is drawn 
somewhat more distinctly ; his home is a cavern in the 
depths of the sea, and not only does he know all the secrets 
of his element, but, like the sea-gods of the Babylonians and 
Germans, he possesses in general immeasurable wisdom. But 
he who would question him must first overpower him in a 
wrestle, and force him, despite his power of assuming like 
water itself a variety of shapes, to communicate to him his 

From him branched off sea-gods variously named in various 
places Nereus ( flowing one ), Proteus ( first-born ), 
Phorkys 1 and Triton ( streaming one ), and Glaukos 
( resplendent ). The three first are represented in human 
shape ; Nereus and Proteus have the gift of prophecy and 
self - transformation, while Phorkys with his wife Keto 
( sea-monster ) rules over marine and other monsters. On 
the other hand the Old Man of the Sea, Glaukos, and 
Triton were even later portrayed regularly as compound 
beings, in which the body of a fish was joined to a man s 
bust. This was probably an imitation of the Babylonian and 
Assyrian models of this class of sea-god which the Phoe 
nicians and lonians brought into Greece. A like formation 
was attributed to river-gods, Centaurs, and Satyrs. 

92. By the side of these lower sea-deities stand the 
Nereides, daughters of Nereus, who represent the kindly 
powers at work in the sea, or, from a more material point of 
view, embody the sportive wanton waves, and are figured in 
the form of lovely maidens. Especially prominent among 
them are Poseidon s wife Amphitrite ( she who flows round 

1 There are some technical reasons for connecting this name with 
the Sanskrit bfhat ( mighty ). 


about ), Thetis the mother of Achilleus, and Galateia 
( the milk-white ), the coy mistress of Polyphemos the 

Akin to them is Ino-Leukothea, who was invoked as 
saviour in distress by sea ; for the Nereids themselves are 
also called Leukotheai ( white goddesses ) . On the other 
hand Ino became a by-form of Aphrodite- Astarte, who bore 
sway over the sea ; and in the same way her son Melikertes 
was developed out of the sun-god and city-god Melqart of 
Tyre. Like the latter he was worshipped as protector of 
seafarers, but represented as a child in the arms of his mother, 
who is said to have sprung with him in frenzy into the sea, 
or as standing upon a dolphin. His by-name Palaimon 
( Wrestler ) points to his share in the celebration of the 
Isthmian Games. He had a sanctuary near Corinth, which 
had been an old seat of Phoenician trade. 

93. The destructive power of the perils menacing the 
seafarer was on the other hand incarnated in the monsters 
Skylla and Charybdis. The former appears as a maiden 
from whose body grow out six long necks with hounds 
heads, that snatch the oarsmen from ships; Charybdis how 
ever is only vaguely described by Homer as a monster that 
thrice a day sucks in the tide. Both were later localised in 
the Straits of Messina ; but both may have originally had 
their seat at the Skyllaian promontory on the eastern coast of 
Argolis. At the bottom of the story of Skylla may lie a 
sailor s tale of the kraken or devil-fish, which sometimes 
grows to a gigantic size ; Charybdis is obviously nothing but 
a dangerous whirlpool. 

94. Far higher in character than any of these beings is 
Poseidon, the lord of the sea, and hence of all waters in 
general. He is brother of Zeus and Hades. The emblem 
of his might and the weapon with which he can cleave rocks 
and carve out valleys in the midst of mountains is the trident, 
properly a kind of harpoon which was used by fishers in spear 
ing dolphins or tunnies. He is the national god of the 
lonians, whose chief pursuits were fishing and seafaring, and 


his son Theseus is their national hero. His worship how 
ever is older than that of the latter, for it came with the 
Ionian immigration into Asia, where the Pamonla were cele 
brated in his honour at the promontory of Mykale as the 
festival of the union of all the Ionian colonies. These had in 
the mother-country a counterpart in the games at the Isthmus of 
Corinth instituted by Sisyphos and Theseus, which originally 
were purely Ionic, like the old Amphiktyonia y or religious union, 
of Poseidon at Kalauria near Trozen. His sanctuaries how 
ever are found scattered around the whole of Peloponnesos 
and on other coasts ; he was said to dwell with his wife 
Amphitrite in a golden palace in the depths of the sea at 
Aigai in Achaia. 

95. All springs and streams arise from Okeanos, and 
Poseidon is their ruler, obviously because they were imagined 
to have an underground connection with the sea that embraces 
or sustains (yai^o^os) and permeates the whole land. Earth 
quakes were looked upon as due to the motion of these waters 
under the earth, and hence Poseidon was described as the 
Earth-shaker (ei/voo-iyaios, ivocri^O^v}. Thus he is often 
worshipped in the interior of the country, in places where in 
land seas, raging rivers, or earthquakes bear testimony to his 
power, as was the case in Boiotia, Thessaly, and Lakonia. 
Since however he thus represents also the fertilising moisture 
arising from springs and rivers, he himself becomes the patron 
of vegetation (<in-aA/uos), and hence is associated with 
Demeter, Artemis, and Athena. 

96. His usual victim and symbol is the horse, the type 
of the raging wave. Hence he travels over the sea in a car 
drawn by swart horses with golden manes when he sways 
waves and winds. In earthquakes again men apparently 
thought they heard the rolling of his car as it dashed along 
underground ; and thus he also comes into connection with 
the nether world. He himself in the form of a horse 
(II. iTnnos) begot by an Erinys or Harpy Arion, the 
war-horse of Adrastos, or made it spring forth by a blow of 
his trident from a rock, in the same way as in his contest 

The Latenin Poseidon. Rome. 


with Athena he raised up a salt spring on the Akropolis of 

Besides the horse, the bull, which embodies the wild power 
of the billow, and its reverse the dolphin, which chiefly 
appears in a quiet sea, were hallowed and dear to Poseidon. 
Art represented him as like Zeus ; but his features display not 
so much sublime calm as mighty force, which constitutes his 
chief quality. He is moreover figured as the type of the 
weather-worn seaman ; his eye looks into the distance, his 
beard and hair are roughened by storm. Often too he is 
portrayed with his foot planted high up, as fishermen and 
sailors are wont to stand, fully clad in earlier times, later with 
the upper body naked. 

97. Like the billows of the sea, the waves of rushing 
rivers by their wild force and their bellowing roar suggested 
the idea that in such rivers a mighty bull was at work. Hence 
in earlier times river- gods were figured as bulls with a man s 
face ; but already in Homer they appear in complete human 
shape, and even later art indicates but seldom their nature by 
small bulls horns, commonly characterising them by simply 
assigning to them an urn. The most revered of them are 
Acheloos the opponent of Herakles and Alpheios the lover 
of the fountain-nymph Arethusa, who fled from his wooing 
through the sea to the peninsula of Ortygia at Syracuse. The 
finest statue of a river-god that can be identified with cer 
tainty is; that of the Nile in the Vatican. 

98. The Silenoi are Phrygian-Ionic gods of rivers and 
fountains, whose figure, like those of the Centaurs, was origin 
ally compounded of the bodies of a man and a horse. Their 
chief representative is the Silenos Marsyas, the god of the 
river of that name which rises at Kelainai in Phrygia. As 
inventor of Phrygian flute-playing he was said to have chal 
lenged the harper Apollon to a contest ; being defeated by 
him, he was flayed alive, and his blown skin was hung up by 
his fountain in Kelainai. As skins however served to hold 
water, it is possible that a skin was originally assigned to him, 
as the urn to river-gods, merely to characterise his nature, and 


that the story of the contest is thus to be regarded as a later 
fiction to interpret this attribute. 

In Athens the Silenoi attendant on Dionysos were confused 
with the goat-like Peloponnesian Satyroi, who about the time 
of Peisistratos had been introduced from Corinth for the festal 
songs and dances of the Great Dionysia. 

99. The vivifying power of water was especially embodied 
in the figures of the Nymphs, who appear in the form of 
young and lightly-clad maidens or women wherever water 
exerts this force. This it does most manifestly by springs, 
which from the oldest times served as places of worship ; the 
springs embodiments, the Naiades, are characterised in detail 
by shells or other vessels for drawing water. Thence the 
nymphs spread to all places where wealth of water called 
forth lush vegetation ; thus the Oreiades were given a 
dwelling-place in the woodlands and mountain pastures. In 
particular the vital power at work in each single tree was 
explained as the activity of a nymph living like a soul within 
and with it; she was termed a Dryad ( tree-maiden ), or 
Hamadryad ( one bound up with the tree ). According to 
this view the nymph lives only as long as the vital power repre 
sented by her is at work in the object to which it belongs. 
When the spring dries up, when the tree withers, the nymph 

VII. Personifications of the Heavenly Bodies 
and other Nature-Deities. 100. The deities embody 
ing the sun and moon, Helios and Selene, were daily honoured 
everywhere on the rising and setting of their planet by prayer 
and greeting. Yet their peculiar ritual of sacrifice was usually 
very simple. Helios was held in higher consideration at 
Corinth, and above all on the island of Rhodes, where a 
brilliant festival, the Halieia, was held in his honour. Here 
at the entrance of the harbour was raised to him, about 280 
B.C., the bronze statue made by Chares of Lindos, which was 
famous as the Colossus of Rhodes. On account of the ap 
parent movement of the sun Helios was thought to ride 
through the heavens on a glistening car drawn by four swift 


horses ; he himself was portrayed as in the flower of youth, 
the long tresses of his hair crowned by a coronet of beams. 
By the sea-goddess Klymene he begets Phaethon ( Glis- 
tener ), who perishes in the attempt to drive for one day the 
car of the sun in place of his father. His milk-white herds 
of oxen and sheep, which none may harm, graze in the island 
of Thrinakia. In the heliotrope which always turns towards 
the sun men saw his mistress Klytia, who was changed into 
the flower. 

101. Like Helios, Selene plays a quite inferior part in 
cult. Sometimes she is associated with him ; and to her, as 
to Eos, thanks are chiefly paid for the gift of the nightly dews 
promoting nature s growth. In legend her husband or lover 
is Endymlon, probably he who has entered into his cave 
(evSvco), i.e. the sun-god after his setting, with whom the 
moon-goddess unites in the night of the new moon. Accord 
ing to the conception of the Eleans, she bears to him fifty 
daughters, who embody the fifty months making up the cycle 
of the Olympian festival ; in Carian legend again the hunter 
or herdsman Endymion sleeps in a cavern of Mount Latmos, 
and Selene privily draws near to kiss the beautiful sleeper. 

1 02. Of the stars, but few appear in older times as figures 
in myth. The morning star, Heosphoros or Phosphoros 
( bringer of dawn or < of light, Latin Lucifer], is re 
presented as a boy bearing a torch, the brilliant constellation 
Orion as a gigantic hunter with upraised club. The latter is 
ravished away by Eos and slain by Artemis. His dog is 
Seirios ( bright one ), the most brilliant fixed star, on 
whose early rising begins the hottest season of the year, the 
dog-days. The Bear looks in alarm towards Orion, and 
the goddesses of rain, the star-cluster of the Pleiades, flee 
from his ambush. 

Later each group of stars of especial brilliancy was repre 
sented, in imitation of the Babylonians, as a picture, and 
brought into connection with the older figures of myths by 
stories of transformations. 

103. Among the other deities of light the first place is 


taken by Eos or Dawn (Latin Slurora}, the sister of Helios 
and Selene. As giver of the morning dews she carries 
pitchers in her hands. To denote the brightness of the 
break of day she has a saffron-yellow robe, arms and fingers 
of rosy splendour, and wings of a brilliant white ; on account 
of her speed she is often portrayed as riding on a car. Her 
spouse is Tithonos, a brother of Priamos ; her son Memnon 
is killed by Achilleus. Like Orion, she carried away 
Tithonos as a comely stripling, and obtained for him from 
Zeus immortality but not eternal youth ; hence he withers 
away by her side and lives a wretched life in a decrepit old 
age until, according to later story, he is changed into a cicada. 

The speed with which the rainbow casts its span from 
heaven to earth makes Iris, who typifies it, the gods mes 
senger ; to her therefore pertain great wings, a short garment 
of rainbow hue, and the herald s staff (/a/pu/ceiov). In the 
older parts of the Iliad she is the messenger of Zeus ; later 
her place in his service is taken by Hermes, while she her 
self is henceforth an attendant of Hera. As the rainbow was 
deemed the harbinger of rain, she was wedded to Zephyros, 
the rain-wind. 

104. The gods of the winds were conceived in the oldest 
times under the form of horses, like the Harpies described 
above ( 21), whom they often pursue as enemies or lovers ; 
later they appear as widely striding bearded men with wings 
on their shoulders and often also on their feet. Sometimes 
they are depicted with a double face looking forwards and 
backwards, which doubtless refers to the change in the direc 
tion of the wind. In earlier ages they were distinguished only 
into Boreas (North wind), Zephyros (West wind), Notos 
(South wind), and somewhat later Euros (East wind), who 
are accounted sons of Astraios ( Starry Heaven ) and Eos 
( Dawn ). Like the Harpies, they are by nature robbers; 
Boreas in particular ravishes away the lovely Oreithyia, the 
daughter of Erechtheus, from the banks of the Ilissos perhaps 
a picture of the morning mist swept away by the wind. Their 
lord is Aiolos ( Swift ), who dwells on a floating island in 


the far West, and keeps the winds inclosed in a cavern, the 
Cave of the Winds. 

VIII. Ares and Aphrodite. 105. Ares (compare 
dpiwv, apurros, apex?;) was originally the chief god of Thracian 
tribes that had forced their way into Thessaly, Boiotia, and 
Phokis, and was probably also like Hades a death-god dwelling 
in the depths of earth. In his native land human sacrifices were 
offered to him. As befitted the character of his worshippers, he 
developed into the furious god of war, and in this quality alone 
he was allowed entrance into Greece. From his ancient 
by-name Eryo&u, which seemingly is connected with the 
wild cry of battle, arose his attendant the murderous war- 
goddess Enyo (Latin Bellona], and later were associated 
with him in the same way Deimos and Phobos, Eris the god 
dess of strife (Latin DiteortBa}, and the Keres, the bringers 
of death in battle, figured as black women in bloody garb, 
who are strictly to be regarded as themselves souls of the 
dead. He represents however merely the power of war s 
brute violence, and hence must give way before Athena and 
her favourites. 

1 06. In Greece Ares is reckoned the son of Zeus and 
Hera ; and in Thebes, the most important seat of his worship, 
his wife is Aphrodite. The latter s place however was 
earlier held by the Erinys Tilphossa, a death-goddess and 
well-spirit, by whom Ares begot the dragon (his own image) 
that dwelt in a cavern by a spring near the historic city. 
Later epos, probably taking the Lemnian point of view, con 
nects Aphrodite with Hephaistos as his wife and makes Ares 
her paramour. Her place was occupied by the nymph 
Aglauros in Athens, where he was worshipped on the Areios 
Pagos or Hill of Ares as presiding over manslayers atone 
ment and trial for bloodshed. 

Art figures Ares as a man of youthful strength, in older 
times bearded and fully armed, later beardless and wearing 
only a helmet and chlamys. His symbol is the spear, in 
ritual the torch, which probably indicates the devastation 
wrought by war. 


107. Aphrodite in Greece is especially the goddess of 
love and of the beauty that provokes love. When in Homer 
she is scorned by her sister Athena for her unwarlike nature, 
Zeus himself gently smiling takes her under his protection, 
with the words " Not unto thee, my daughter, are given the 
works of war ; rather do thou pursue the pleasant works of 
wedlock" (//. v. 428 f. ). Hence Eros, the incarnate 
yearning of love, is regarded as her constant attendant, and, in 
the later conception, as her actual son. In her train are Peitho 
or Persuasion and the Charites, to whom she stands very near 
in other respects also, for in the Iliad Charis is the wife of 
Hephaistos, while in the Odyssey Aphrodite herself holds 
this place. Her parents are Zeus and Dione, in the same 
way as the embodiment of youthful bloom, Hebe, is daughter 
of Zeus and Hera. In Thebes she is associated with Ares 
the god of war and death, with whom she is connected in 
Homer also. Harmonia ( Union ), who is closely allied to 
Aphrodite herself viewed as Pandemos (the love bringing 
the people together ), and the war-god s attendants 
Deimos or Terror and Phobos or Flight, are accounted her 

1 08. These associations, based as they are on speculation, 
as well as her substitution for other goddesses, indicate that 
Aphrodite s home is not Greece. As already in Homer she 
is termed the Cyprian (Kypris], and her apparently oldest 
places of worship, Amathus and Idalion, lie in Cyprus, we 
should probably look for her true home on this island. From 
here her worship may have come to Kythera (Cerigo) and 
Sparta, as also to Corinth, Elis, Athens, and on the other 
side to Mount Eryx in Sicily. In Cyprus again she is 
probably but a local form of the Assyrian-Phoenician goddess 
of fruitfulness, Istar or Astarte, to whom she bears a peculiar 
likeness in her relations with the Semitic Adonis ( Lord ) 
worshipped chiefly in the Syrian Byblos and in Cyprus itself. 
The latter was conceived as a beautiful youth beloved of 
Aphrodite, who in midsummer is wounded during the chase 
by a boar (the sun), speedily perishes, and then is doomed to 


abide until the spring in the nether world with Persephone, 
who thus appears as his Greek counterpart. 

109. To Cyprus also belongs originally the legend of 
Aphroditos or Hermaphroditos, a god of double sex akin to 
Aphrodite herself, and representing nature s powers of luxuri 
ant increase ; properly he seems to have borne the latter name 
only because he was represented as a rule in the shape of a 
hermes ( 83). Through a mistaken interpretation of this 
name he was afterwards made into a son of Hermes and 
Aphrodite (compare Priapos, 117). Similarly Aphrodite s 
connection with Anchises the king of Dardanos in the 
Troad, to whom she comes on Mount Ida and bears Aineias, 
is probably of Oriental origin. Anchises again is perhaps 
akin to the comely Paris the son of Priamos, who awards to 
her the prize of beauty ; in the same way she herself is doubt 
less connected with the beautiful Helena, whom she procures 
for Paris as reward. From Astarte she seems to have bor 
rowed even her common by-name of worship, Urania 
( heavenly one ) ; the story of her relation to Uranos is 
plainly a mere fiction to explain this title, made up after her 
name Aphrodite had been wrongly interpreted as foam-born. 
It is the same with her connection with the sea, on which the 
part played by her in Greece throws no light, and with her 
worship as Euploia ( giver of fair passage ), Pontta ( ocean- 
goddess ), and the like ; in this quality the dolphin and swan 
are her appropriate attributes. 

no. In Mykenai have been found figures of a naked 
goddess attended by doves. Though clearly modelled on the 
representations of the Asiatic goddess of fertility, they should 
probably be described as early images of Aphrodite. From 
the Homeric times she wears, like all other Greek goddesses, 
long garments ; she holds fruit in her hands, and doves sit at 
her feet. From the fourth century onwards however she 
appears again as partly or wholly naked, as she is conceived as 
bathing or as Anadyomene (arising from the sea). The finest 
example of the half-naked goddess is the Aphrodite of Melos ; 
Praxiteles represented her for her sanctuary at Knidos as 


entirely nude. As emblems of fruitfulness the ram or goat as 
well as the dove are assigned to her. 

in. Eros is on the other hand the male personification 
of love. As a god in the true sense of the word he was 
worshipped from ancient times, probably even by the pre- 
Hellenic population, at Thespiai in Boiotia, at Parion on the 
Hellespont, and at Leuktra in Lakonia. His cult at Thespiai 
centred round a primitive symbol, an unhewn stone ; he him 
self was accounted there the son of Hermes the giver of fruit- 
fulness by the infernal mother Artemis. In the Homeric 
poems he does not appear as a god, and Hesiod regards him 
only as a primal power creating the universe, although he cer 
tainly knew of his actual worship. 

112. From Eros were later distinguished Himeros or 
passionate desire and Pothos or lover s yearning, although 
these did not actually come to be regarded as divinities ; and 
thus there gradually grew up a number of Erotes no longer 
distinguishable from one another. From the commencement 
of the fifth century B.C. Eros finds portrayal in art as a winged 
boy or a tender youth with a blossom and lyre, a fillet (raivia) 
and crown in his hands, and often associated with Aphrodite, 
who is now looked upon as his mother. From the fourth 
century onwards he receives a bow and arrows or a torch as 
his attribute, the pain of love excited by him being regarded 
as a wound. Later the torch was viewed as a symbol of the 
light of life, and Eros like Aphrodite was brought into 
connection with death and the infernal world. An inverted 
and expiring torch was put into his hand, or he himself was 
figured as wearily sinking to sleep, and thus he was turned into 
the death-god Thanatos. 

Finally, following Platonic conceptions, men expressed the 
love that at once blesses and racks the human soul by depict 
ing Eros as either winningly embracing or cruelly torturing 
Psyche, the soul portrayed as a butterfly (3) or a maiden 
with butterfly s wings. 

IX. The Religion of Dionysos. 113. An entirely 
new kind of worship spread through Greece when the fanatical 


service of Dionysos was introduced. This was to some extent 
known already to Homer, but it finds in him only a passing 
mention. The cult of Dionysos had its origin in Thrace ; 
thence, like the service of Ares, it was carried by emigrants 
moving south-westwards to Phokis and Boiotia, and later also 
to Attica. The Thracians were closely akin to the Phrygians 
of Asia Minor, among whom he was adored under the name 
of Sabazios, as the son of the divine mother Ma. In his own 
home, as later in Greece, the god was worshipped at night 
time by women, who wandered about the mountain woodlands 
in passionate excitement with torches in their hands ; these 
are the orgies, opyta, a word connected with opyaw 
( swell, be excited ) and 0/3777 ( impulse ). These 
worshippers became in myth his nurses the Nymphs or his 
attendants the Bacchai ( shouters ) , Mainades ( mad 
women ), and Thyiades ( raging ones ). 

114. The wild round-dance, the shaking of the head, the 
shouting, and the distracting music of the flute, together with 
the use of intoxicating drinks, especially of wine, which was 
grown in Thrace from early times, roused them to an ecstasy 
in which they imagined themselves united with the god. 
Their souls seemed to leave their bodies and join the troop of 
spirits attending on him ; or they fancied the god himself 
entered into their bodies and inspired them. The feeling of the 
opposition between soul and body which displays itself in this 
rapture (l/corao-is) leads to a belief in the divine nature of the 
spirit, and hence at the same time to a conviction of its im 
perishability ; for if the soul can part from the mortal body 
and live on by itself in ecstasy, it can do so equally well in 
death. To Dionysos the god of souls, as to the souls them 
selves, was now attributed the form of a snake ; in order to 
take him up into themselves, his worshippers tore to pieces 
and swallowed snakes or other young animals which were 
consecrated to him and in earlier times were imagined to 
represent him, such as calves and goats, probably too in the 
oldest times even children, drank the blood, which was 
looked upon as the seat of vital power, and enwrapped them- 



selves in the raw skins. Meanwhile they called in a loud 
voice upon the god, conceived at the time of the winter 
solstice as a child slumbering in a winnowing-fan, to vouch 
safe fruitfulness in the commencing year. From the cry of 
rejoicing uttered by them the god himself was called Bacchos 
or lacchos. 

115. The same meaning is betrayed by the festal rites of 
the Little Dionysia, celebrated at the Anthesteria ( flower- 
feast ) in the country and in Athens by a symbolic wedding 
of the god with the queen, representing the land ; her place 
was taken in the time of the republic by the wife of the Archon 

An intoxicating drink was prepared also from the fruit of 
the ivy ; hence this likewise was sacred to Dionysos. As 
Lyaios ( setting free from care ) he carries as his symbol 
the vine-branch or the* thyrsos (a staff capped with a pine- 
cone) wreathed with ivy. In his honour was held at Athens 
the vintage-festival of the Oschophoria ( carrying of grape- 
clusters ) , as well as the feast of the wine-press, the Lenma. 
In vine-growing Naxos, which was the centre of the worship 
of Dionysos on the islands populated by lonians, the dithyram- 
los was probably sung to him at first as a simple drinking 
ditty. In Corinth this was remodelled into a choral song 
performed by singers attired as satyrs ; from this grew up at 
the Dionysiac festivities of Thebes the dithyramb of Pindar, 
and in Athens the Drama in its earliest form as rpaywSia 
( goat-song ) or Satyr-play (o-o/ruptKov, crarupot). Hence 
in Athens at the spring games of the Great Dionysia the most 
important part of the feast was the production of the dramas 
that had grown out of this song. 

1 1 6. When the true meaning of the above mentioned 
sacrifice of children was no longer understood, the Orphics, 
or expounders of the religious poetry founded on the worship 
of Dionysos, created about the time of Peisistratos a fiction 
to explain that rite. Dionysos himself, they said, had as 
a child or in the shape of a beast been torn to pieces by 
the Titans, the foes of the gods, and thence had received the 


name Zagreus. The word seems to be properly a by-name 
of the death-god who ravishes all away (Za-aypeus, the 
Wild Hunter ?). 

Once introduced into the Hellenic system of deities, the 
Thracian stranger becomes the son of Zeus, his mother Semele 
the daughter of Kadmos of Thebes, as he was there chiefly 
worshipped. On her premature death Zeus conceals the still 
undeveloped embryo in his own thigh until the time of birth. 
Then Hermes conveys it for further care to the nymphs of 
Nysa or to their equivalents the Hyades ( maidens of the 
rain-cloud ). 

117. Other myths refer to the opposition with which the 
introduction of this foreign cult was met. Even in Thrace, 
the god s home, barbarian foes of his worship seem to be 
typified in Lykurgos, who pursued him and his nurses with a 
double-axe. In the Minyeian Orchomenos he is opposed by 
the sober industrious daughters of Minyas, and similarly in 
Argos by those of Proitos, in Thebes again by King Pcn- 
theus himself. They however all perish through the madness 
sent upon them by the god, which is the final stage of 
drunken excitement. 

The marriage of Dionysos with Ariadne, a Cretan goddess 
of near kindred to Aphrodite, which is localised in Naxos or 
Dia, is in complete agreement with the character he bears 
elsewhere ; its meaning is clearly marked by the names of the 
sons sprung from it, Oinopion ( wine-drinker ) , StapLylos 
( grape ), and Euantles ( blooming one ). By Aphro 
dite again he is the father of Priapos the god of gardens 
and herds worshipped at Lampsakos on the Hellespont, who 
seems to be of kindred nature to himself. 

1 1 8. The oldest symbol of his worship was a consecrated 
post or pillar formed probably from a holy tree, from which 
again the earliest true cult-statues developed on the addition 
of a mask and clothing. The representation of him as a 
bearded, fully-clad man remains the standard one until the 
fourth century B.C. ; later he appears as a child on the arm of 
Hermes or of a bearded satyr. After Praxiteles had figured 


him as a naked youth clad only in the skin of a fawn 
(ve/?pis), this nude boyish type came to be universally 

X. The Goddesses of Fate. 119- As order and 
law in the states of men came gradually to prevail over the arbi 
trary will of the strong man, these ideas were independently 
personified in the Goddesses of Fate standing by the side of the 
gods of the older time, gods conceived, entirely on the model 
of human rulers, as swayed by passions. In Homer, as in 
the States of his age, the position of these goddesses is still 
uncertain. The apportioned lot, Moira who appears 
also, though not so often, in the plural number as well, 
or Aisciy is regarded sometimes as an expression of the will 
of Zeus, while in other parts of the poems she already 
stands independently by his side or even above him, and 
in this case he, like the other gods, does but execute her 
decisions. Hence the Moirai in Hesiod are in one place 
styled daughters of Night, and in another children of Zeus and 
Themis. They decide the destiny of man at once on his 
birth, and all the important events of life, especially marriage 
and death, take place under their direction. After Hesiod 
three Moirai are distinguished Klotho, * spinner of the life s 
thread, Lachesis, the * giver of life s portion, and Atropos, 
the unswerving, inexorable one, who sends death. In 
accordance with this they carry as emblems in art spindles 
and lots, sometimes also a roll and the balance, like their 
mother Themis. The Romans identified them with their own 
Parcae and Fata. 

1 20. Nemesis, the apportioner, who first appears in 
personal form in Hesiod, originally embodies, like them, the 
idea of the * allotted portion. She watches over the main 
tenance of due measure, and hence the ell-rule and balance 
pertain to her as emblems. As moreover she reprobates and 
punishes (ve/Aeo-cio), ve/A(rio/ all offences against the law 
of measure, especially those caused by immoderate self-con 
fidence (hybns^ she becomes also the wrathful requiter ; and 
now as a tamer of arrogance she holds a bridle, yoke and 

Tyche of AnUuch. Vatican. 


scourge. Usually however she is characterised as the god 
dess warning men against pride by the gesture of spitting into 
her bosom, while at the same time lifting her robe ; for by 
this token of humiliation men sought to ward off the baneful 
results of pride. As recruiter in the next world she was 
honoured in Athens at the festival of the Nemesia ; proper 
worship however was accorded to her only at Rhamnus in 
Attica. On her identification with Leda see 135. 

121. Of these personifications, which gradually dissolved 
the old belief in the gods, the latest is Tyche, Good Luck, 
the Latin Fortuna. She appears indeed as a person already 
in the older lyric poets ; but she does not gain any general 
worship as a god until faith in the power of the old deities 
begins to wane. Now in the age of unbelief she was reputed 
the giver of fruitfulness and wealth, as well as the director of 
human destiny and the saviour from perils at sea and in war ; 
hence also she was often regarded as the guardian goddess of 
cities. The horn of plenty and rudder were her attributes ; 
and besides these a rolling wheel or a ball was assigned to 
her, in order to indicate Fortune s fickleness. 

122. The worship of this goddess of Chance however 
properly amounts to a denial of all real divine power. 
Thus after the destruction of the old positive faith in gods 
who guided in consciousness and grace men s destinies, the 
Greek world made itself ready to receive the new doctrine 
of salvation going forth from Palestine. For although for 
a time philosophy strove to inspire anew the old outworn 
forms with a content of ethical thought, it was never able to 
furnish a truly comforting conviction of a life after death and 
of a justice that shall make amends for the imperfections of 
this world. 


Heroic Poetry. 

I. Theban Legends. 123. Kadmos, the builder of 
the Kadmeia, from which he himself as eponymous hero 
derives his name, is the mythical ancestor of the princely race 
of Kadmeiones dwelling on the citadel of Thebes. He de 
stroyed a dragon born of Ares that lurked by a spring. From 
its teeth when sown in the earth grew the brazen Spartoi or 
* sown men, /. e. the earliest inhabitants of Thebes. When 
they had for the most part slain one another in a fratricidal 
strife aroused by Kadmos devices, he founded the Kadmeia 
with the aid of the five survivors, /. e. the ancestors of the 
noble families of Thebes. He then wedded Harmonia 
( Union ), the daughter of the national Boiotian deities Ares 
and Aphrodite; this points to the creation of an ordered 
civic life. Of their children, Ino and Semele should be 
mentioned. Finally Kadmos with his wife, like other 
heroes, took the form of a snake; both however were re 
moved by Zeus into Elysion. In Sparta Kadmos had a 
heroon, or place of worship as a hero. 

Later legend, which was especially propagated from 
Delphoi, placed the home of Kadmos in Phoenicia, and made 
him a son of King Agenor of Tyre. By the latter, it is 
said, he was despatched with his brothers, the tribal heroes 
Phoinix, Kilix, and Thasos, to seek for his sister Europe 
when she had been carried away by Zeus ; but on arriving 
at Boiotia he founded Thebes. While playing with her 
comrades on the shore of Sidon or Tyre, Europe had been 
led by Zeus, appearing in the form of a bull, to mount upon 
his back, and was then suddenly borne away by him over the 
sea to Crete, where Zeus Laterios may have been once wor 
shipped in bull s form. Minos and Rhadamanthys were re 
puted her sons ; the feast of the Hellotia was celebrated in honour 
of Europe Hellotia or Hellotis in Crete, and in it an enormous 
crown of myrtle was carried about. 


124. Antiope is a heroine of Boiotia and Sekyon. In 
the hills of Kithairon she bears to Zeus the twins Amphion 
and Zethos, who probably are in origin akin to the Lakonian 
Dioskoroi. Being later cruelly tortured by Dirke, the jealous 
wife of her uncle Lykos, she flees to Kithairon, and there un 
recognised she meets her sons, whom a herdsman had brought 
up. On a festival of Dionysos however she is captured 
again by Dirke, and in punishment of her flight she is bound 
to the horns of a bull to be crushed to death. Then her sons 
learn from their fosterfather the secret of their birth, free their 
mother, and execute the punishment to which she has been 
doomed on Dirke herself, who ac she dies is transformed into 
the spring of that name near Thebes. The binding of Dirke 
to the bull was represented at the beginning of the second 
century by Apollonios and Tauriskos of Tralles in the marble 
group well known under the name of the Farnese Bull, 
which is now in Naples. 

The twins now make themselves masters of Thebes and 
surround the lower town with the seven-gated wall, the stones 
dragged thither by the powerful Zethos setting themselves in 
ordered rows by the magic of Amphion s harping. It is a 
story probably meant to extol the regulative influence of music, 
in which the same law of proportion rules as in the art of 

125. Amphion wedded Niobe, the daughter of Tantalos, 
who had inherited the pride of her father. As she had borne 
six sons and six daughters, she boasted that she was richer 
than Leto, who had but two children. Apollon and Artemis 
avenged the insult offered to their mother by slaying all the 
children of Niobe, who in grief for her bereavement turned 
into a stone and was removed to Mount Sipylos in Lydia ; 
but she was invoked in Greece too as a goddess, and a 
spring of Argos bore her name. Amphion slew himself; his 
grave was shown near Thebes. 

The slaughter of the Niobids was represented in a group 
by Skopas or Praxiteles, probably for the city of Seleucia in 
Cilicia, and this was later brought to Rome. Most of the 


figures in it have come down to us in Roman imitations, now 
in Florence. 

II. The Legends of Argos, Mykenal, and 
Tiryns. 126. Excavations have shown that in the palmy 
days of the city of Mykenai, a period which must have extended 
approximately from 1400 to 2000 B.C., the district of Argolis 
entered into close relations with Egypt and Asia. The myths 
of this land tell the same story ; lo and Danaos point to a 
connection with Egypt, Perseus and the Pelopids to one 
with Asia. 

lo, the daughter of the river-god Inachos, is loved by Zeus ; 
the jealous Hera therefore transforms her into a heifer, the 
animal sacred to her, and sets the many-eyed, all-seeing 
(7ravo7rr7s) Argos to keep watch on her near Mykenai, until 
at the command of Zeus he is cast into slumber and slain by 
Hermes, who on this account bears the by-name of Argos- 
slayer ( Apyet^ovr^s). Hereupon lo is hunted over land 
and sea by a gadfly sent by Hera ; in Euboia or Egypt how 
ever she at last recovers from Zeus her human form, and 
now gives birth to Epaphos, the father of Danaos and 

127. Danaos the representative of the Danaoi, who 
in Homer s time dwelt in Argolis emigrated, according to 
the story, with his fifty daughters, the Danaides, to Greece, 
and became King of Argos, where later his gravestone was 
shown in the market-place of the city. The fifty sons of 
Aigyptos pursued them and sued for the maidens ; but at the 
command of Danaos all were slaughtered on their wedding 
night by their wives excepting Lynkeus, whom his bride 
Hypermestra spared. In punishment of this misdeed the 
Danaides were doomed in the nether world to fill with water 
a leaking jar. 

128. Akrisios, King of Argos, was a descendant of 
Lynkeus. From an oracle he learned that he was to be slain 
by a grandson ; he therefore hid his daughter Danae in a 
brazen chamber and set a close watch over her. But Zeus 
nevertheless made his way to her as a golden rain, and she 


became mother of Perseus. Akrisios now confined both in a 
chest, and cast them into the sea. Simonides of Keos depicts 
their sore distress with deep pathos. " When in the cunningly- 
wrought chest the raging blast and the stirred billow and 
terror fell upon her, with tearful cheeks she cast her arm 
around Perseus and spake Alas, my child, what sorrow is 
mine ! But thou slumberest, in baby wise sleeping in this 
woeful ark ; midst the darkness of brazen rivet thou shinest 
and in swart gloom sent forth ; thou heedest not the deep 
foam of the passing wave above thy locks nor the voice of 
the blast as thou liest in thy purple covering, a sweet face. 
If terror had terrors for thee, and thou wert giving ear to 
my gentle words I bid thee sleep, my babe, and may the 
sea sleep and our measureless woe ; and may change of 
fortune come forth, Father Zeus, from thee. For that I 
make my prayer in boldness and beyond right, forgive me. " 

At length they reached the island of Seriphos, in which 
Perseus grew up. The king of it later despatched him 
to fetch the head of the Gorgon Medusa. Having the 
support of Hermes and Athena, he succeeded in cutting off 
the head of the sleeping monster, the sight of which turned 
to stone all who beheld it ; he escaped the pursuit of Medusa s 
sisters only by the help of a helmet lent to him by Hades, 
which made him invisible. In Aithiopia (perhaps Rhodes) 
he liberated Andromeda, the daughter of Kepheus, who had 
been bound to a rock on the shore as a sacrifice to a sea- 
monster sent by Poseidon. After having then turned into 
stone all his enemies by the sight of the Gorgon s head and 
slain his grandfather, as the oracle foretold, by an oversight in 
throwing the quoit, he ruled with his wife Andromeda in 
Tiryns, and thence built Mykenai. In Argos he had a 
heroon, and he was worshipped also in Athens and Seriphos. 

129. The race of Tantalos is later, though even before 
the Dorian migration it was powerful in Argos and a great 
part of the remaining Peloponnesos. Tantalos at the same 
time has his seat on Mount Sipylos in Asia Minor. He is 
a figure like Atlas, the supporter of heaven and mountain- 


god. As the son of Zeus, the gods honoured him with their 
intimate society, but by his sensual lusts and his audacity 
(hybris} he forfeited their favour. He was therefore hurled 
down into the nether world and there stood, in an eternal 
agony of hunger and thirst, in the midst of water under a tree 
with abundant fruit ; for water and tree retreated whenever 
he stretched forth his hand towards them. According to 
another story, a rock ever threatening to fall swung over his 
head. This appears to be the older conception, for the name 
Tantalos is certainly to be derived from TavToAov/mi, ravra- 
Ae ww, to rock, and to be translated by something like 
Rocking-Stone ; perhaps rocking-stones, as in Germany, 
were looked upon as the seat of the deity on mountain-tops. 
There was a mountain of the same name in Lesbos, where 
Tantalos also received worship as a hero. 

130. His children are Niobe and Pelops, from whom 
the Peloponnesos ( island of Pelops ) is said to have got 
its name. The latter wooed Hippodameia ( horse-tamer ), 
the daughter of King Oinomaos of Elis, and won her by a 
race with her father, who perished in it by the treachery of 
his charioteer. The preparations for this race are repre 
sented on the eastern pediment of the temple of Zeus at 
Olympia. Pelops was devoutly worshipped as a hero with 
sacrifices and games in Elis and other parts of the Pelopon 

His son Atreus on the death of Eurystheus became ruler 
of Mykenai ; and, according to the older legend furnished 
by the 7//W, his brother Thyestes legally inherited the king 
dom from him. But later epos, and above all the tragedians, 
represent the descendants of Tantalos as involved in a series 
of most awful crimes. According to them, Thyestes robbed 
his brother of empire, wife, and son. Atreus again, after re 
covering the royal power, avenged himself by slaughtering the 
sons of Thyestes and setting their flesh as food before their 
unwitting father. For this Atreus was in his turn murdered 
afterwards by Aigisthos, a son of Thyestes, whom he had 
however regarded as his own son and brought up as such. 


131. Aigisthos was ousted from the kingship by Aga 
memnon and Menelaos, the true sons of Atreus ; the former 
became king of Mykenai, the latter of Lakedaimon, where in 
later times he and his wife Helena were worshipped as local 
gods, especially in Therapne. Paris, the comely son of 
Priamos of Troy, abducted Helena with the aid of Aphrodite. 
To avenge their shame the two Atreidai mustered a mighty 
host of Greeks, over which Agamemnon assumed chief com 
mand. When this had gathered at Aulis, contrary winds 
delayed their sailing, because Agamemnon had offended the 
goddess Artemis. A seer announced that the goddess could 
be appeased only by the sacrifice of Agamemnon s daughter 
Iphigeneia. Upon this the king sent a messenger to his wife 
Klytaimestra 1 at Mykenai to tell her that she should send 
her daughter to the camp to be wedded to Achilleus. But 
when Iphigeneia was dragged to the sacrifice Artemis carried 
her away to Tauris (the Crimean peninsula), and in stead of 
the maid a doe stood by the altar. Agamemnon now set 
forth with Menelaos and many other heroes against Tix>y. 
In the meantime Aigisthos seduced Klytaimestra, who was 
wroth with her husband for the immolation of her daughter ; 
and the pair then murdered the king when ten years later he 
returned home after capturing Troy. In Lakonia, Chaironeia, 
and Klazomenai however Agamemnon was worshipped in 
after times as Zeus Agamemnon (compare Zeus /3ao-(,A.evs)> a 
sort of infernal Zeus ( 24), under the form of a sceptre, the 
symbol of kingship ; his grave was shown in Amyklai and 
Mykenai. On the murder of her father Elektra, his elder 
daughter, saved her young brother Orestes and conveyed him 
to King Strophios of Phokis, with whose son Pylades he 
formed a friendship. When grown into a youth he hastened 
back to Mykenai in order to take vengeance for his father 
on the two slayers. In the Elektra of Sophokles, and still 
more in that of Euripides, Elektra, herself ill-treated by Kly- 

1 The spelling Kiytaimncstra, or Clytaemncstra, is wholly without 
authority ; the name usually spelt Hypermnettra seems to be in need 
of a like correction to Hypermestra. 


taimestra, spurs on her brother by words breathing deep hatred 
to execute the hideous deed of blood, when the sight of his 
mother makes him hesitate. First Klytaimestra fell transfixed 
by his son s sword, then Aigisthos also. But scarcely had 
Orestes shed the blood of his mother when the Erinyes arose 
to pursue him. He wandered about in restless misery, until 
at the bidding of the Delphic oracle he went to Tauris in 
order to bring to Greece the statue of Artemis to be found 
there. Captured in the attempt to steal it away, he was 
doomed to be slain as a sacrifice to the goddess. In her 
temple he found his sister Iphigeneia serving as priestess. 
With her aid he escaped, carrying her and the statue with 
him. Pylades, who had accompanied him everywhere, now 
wedded Elektra, Orestes the lovely Hermione, the daughter 
of Menelaos and Helena. 

Iphigeneia is originally a by-name of Artemis, hence the 
priestess may have been akin in character to her goddess. 
Orestes, on the other hand, received honour as a hero in 
Sparta, Tegea, Trozen, and elsewhere. 

III. Corinthian Legends. 132 Closely con 
nected with Argos was Corinth, which owing to its position 
developed early into an important trading city, and was espe 
cially influenced by Phoenicia. 

The Iliad already knows of the wily gain-loving Sisyphos, 
the ruler of Ephyre, / . e. of Akrokorinthos, the citadel of 
the town, where he had a temple. Later he degenerated into 
a mere calculator and intriguer, the prototype and image of the 
Corinthian trader. For having offended Zeus he was doomed 
in the lower world to eternally push up a hill a rock which 
ever rolled back from its summit. As his grave on the Isthmos 
and his relations with Poseidon mark Sisyphos out as an 
ancient sea-god, this punishment is perhaps to be regarded as 
a picture of the billow ceaselessly rolling hither and thither 
the stones of the beach. 

133. His grandson Bellerophontes, or, with a shortened 
name, Bellerophon, possesses the winged horse Pegasos ( 59). 
Being sent to Lycia, he slew with its aid the terrible Chimaira 


(literally she-goat ), a monster compounded of a goat 
vomiting fire, a lion, and a snake, which probably personifies 
volcanic phenomena. Then he fought against the mountain- 
folk of the Solymoi and the man-like Amazons. At length 
he sought to force his way upon his steed into heaven itself, 
but was hurled down to perish miserably. He enjoyed divine 
honours both in Corinth and in Lycia. 

IV. Lakonian Legends. 134. The most important 
place in Lakonia before the Dorian migration was Amyklai, 
a chief seat of the worship of Apollon, south of Sparta. 
Here or in Sparta Tyndareos and his wife Leda ruled. 
After Zeus, who had a seat upon the neighbouring mountain- 
range of Taygetos, had come into her arms in the form of a 
swan, Leda became mother of the Dioskoroi, or < sons of 
Zeus, Polydeukes (the Latin Pollux] and Kastor, as well 
as of Helena. To Tyndareos she bore Klytaimestra ; the 
mortal Kastor also was regarded later as his son. 

135. The Dioskoroi have their chief seat in Lakonia, 
Messenia, and Argos ; later however their worship spread 
over the whole Greek world, so that they were invoked every 
where as saviours in peril (2um?pes) or as rulers ("AvaKes), 
especially in battle and storm by sea. Sometimes too their 
sister Helena, who in consequence perhaps of her disastrous 
influence on Troy and the Greek nation was at last made 
the daughter of avenging Nemesis, was worshipped by their 
side as a guardian goddess. Both Dioskoroi ride upon white 
horses, but Polydeukes is also accounted a mighty boxer. 
After the death of Kastor, who was slain by the Messenian 
hero Idas, Polydeukes to avoid separation from his brother 
prayed Zeus that they might together spend for ever alternate 
days in the lower world and in Olympos. 

In art the Dioskoroi appear as youthful horsemen, clad only 
in the chlamys and armed with the lance. In view of their 
heroic nature, the snake belongs to them as an attribute ; 
later however they are characterised by the pointed egg- 
shaped cap (71-1X05), or by the addition of two stars. 

V. Herakles. 1 36. Herakles is the son of Zeus and 


Alkmene ( strong one ), who was the wife of King 
Amphitryon of Thebes, a descendant of Perseus. In his youth 
he was known also, like his grandfather the ruler of Tiryns, 
by the name Alkaios ( man of might ), whence is derived 
his by-name AX/cei S^s, in Latin Alcides. No certain explana 
tion has been found for his usual name, which is probably 
Argive. The second part -/cXerjs -K\f)<;, like the fuller form 
-xXeiros, is connected with /c/Ve os * glory ; but it is not certain 
that the first part is derived from "Hpa, the tutelary goddess 
of Argos, who imposed on him his toils. As a hero he was 
especially honoured among the Boiotians, Dorians, and Thessa- 
lians ; among the first indeed we find hero-worship in 
general quite fully developed at an earlier time than else 
where. In Athens, Marathon, and Leontinoi again he 
received from ancient times divine honours as dXe^i/caKos 
( averter of evil ) and xaAA/viKOs ( conqueror ). Later, 
when he was looked upon as chief representative of wrestling, 
and hence also as founder of the Olympian Games, his statues 
were to be found everywhere in the gymnasia and in the baths 
regularly joined to the latter, so that he actually became the 
god of all hot baths and healing springs. As again he cleared 
the roads from hostile powers, he figures also as guiding god of 
travellers (^ye/Aovtos). Often he is accompanied by his 
protectress Athena, more rarely by Hermes and Apollon. 

137. Like all the sons born to Zeus by other wives, he 
is hated by Hera. When Zeus had destined the empire of 
Argos to the first descendant of Perseus who should next be 
born, she delayed his birth until his cousin Eurystheus came 
into the world at Mykenai ; and so Eurystheus became lord 
of Argos and therewith liege lord of Herakles. This story 
makes it clear that Tiryns was originally looked upon as the 
birthplace of Herakles ; for the distant Thebes, though it is 
already spoken of in the Iliad as his home, can never have 
stood in such a relation of dependence to Mykenai. 

While still in the cradle Herakles strangled two serpents 
which Hera sent against him. After he had struck dead 
with his lyre his teacher Linos for chastising him, Amphitryon 


sent him as herdsman to Kithairon, where he destroyed 
a monstrous lion. When his father fell in battle against the 
inhabitants of Orchomenos, Kreon the last Spartos ( 123) 
became king of Thebes, and Herakles received his 
daughter Megara as his wife. In a frenzy inspired in him 
by Hera he shot down his three children ; on his recovery 
he was compelled as atonement to enter the service of 
Eurystheus, who now imposed on him a series of grievous 
toils. This legend forms the link between the Theban 
(Boiotian) and the Argive (Dorian) Herakles-saga ; the 
latter seems to contain the oldest elements in it. 

138. According to this Argive saga, Herakles had his 
dwelling-place in Tiryns, south of Mykenai, as indeed the 
legend of his birth suggests. First he struggled here, as at 
Kithairon, with a mighty lion haunting Mount Apesas between 
Nemea and Mykenai, whose hide he afterwards wore, slung 
round his upper body, as his characteristic dress. Then he 
proceeded, accompanied by his half-brother and charioteer 
lolaos, against the Hydra, the water-snake of the swampy 
springs of Lerna in the south of Argos, which legend magni 
fied into a creature like the devil-fish. For every head cut 
off from the monster two new ones grew again, until lolaos 
set the neighbouring wood on fire and scorched the wounds ; 
the last deathless head Herakles covered with a rock. He 
then soaked his arrows in the poison of the monster. 

139. From Mount Erymanthos in Arkadia, down from 
whose &now- covered summit plunges a raging mountain-stream 
of the same name, comes a boar representing the stream 
itself that desolates the meadows of Psophis. Herakles 
pursues it into the icy uplands and then brings it in bonds 
to Eurystheus, who in abject terror takes refuge in a barrel. 
This is followed by the conquest of the Centaurs ( Kentaurol] . 
These are sons of Ixion and Nephele ( Cloud ), wild half- 
bestial hunters who dwell on Ossa and Pelion in Thessaly, 
as well as upon Mount Pholoe on the western border of 
Arkadia. Like the Silenoi, they are a compound of the 
bodies of man and horse. The oldest works of art give them 


the rear-parts of a horse simply joined at the back to a complete 
human body, but afterwards the latter passes over in the region 
of the hips into a horse s fore-parts. Unlike the other Centaurs, 
Cheiron ( the handy one ), who dwells in a cavern of 
Pelion, is gentle, upright, and famous as leech, soothsayer, and 
trainer of the heroes Achilleus, lason, and Asklepios. Pholos, 
who gives his name to Mount Pholoe, resembles him. With 
the latter Herakles lodges ; on being entertained with the 
wine that is the common property of all the Centaurs, he falls 
to quarrelling with them and at length slays most of them 
with his arrows. Pholos also (and Cheiron too in later story) 
perishes on injuring himself through carelessness with an arrow. 
Herakles then captured the hind of Keryneia in Arkadia and 
chased away birds resembling the Harpies and Keres, which 
haunted the lake of Stymphalos and shot out their feathers 
like arrows (a type of the hail-storm). His native Argolis 
was now secure from all dangers. 

140. His later journeys were to distant lands. Elean local 
legend is the basis of the tale of how he cleansed the filthy 
stables of the Elean King Augeias ( shining one ) ; accord 
ing to tradition, he fulfilled the task by leading through them 
the river Menios ( moon-stream ), while on the metope of 
the Olympian temple, the only surviving picture of this adven 
ture, he uses a long broom. For this work Augeias promised 
Herakles the tithe of his herds, but did not keep his word, 
for which he was afterwards slain by him, together with his 
warriors, after a fierce resistance. 

141. With this is probably connected an adventure usually 
enumerated tenth in the list, the capture of the kine belonging 
to the giant Geryoneus ( Roarer ), who likewise rules in 
the far West on the island of Erytheia ( Red-land ). In 
order to sail over the ocean Herakles forces Helios to lend 
him his sun-boat ; then with his arrows he slays the triple- 
bodied giant. On his return he overcomes on the site of 
the later Rome the fire-breathing giant Cacus, who has 
stolen some of the cows captured by him and hidden them 
in a cave, and in Sicily he conquers the mighty boxer 


and wrestler Eryx, the representative of the hill of that 

The seventh adventure, the taming of the Cretan bull, and 
the ninth, the fight with the Amazons, from whose queen 
Hippolyte he was commissioned by Eurystheus to demand her 
girdle, are perhaps only borrowings from the legend of 
Theseus, who accomplishes deeds of this sort ; Herakles 
conflict with the Amazons however appears in art somewhat 
earlier than that of Theseus, hence a derivation of the latter 
from the former is also not impossible. 

As eighth labour Herakles receives the order to fetch from 
the far North the horses of the Thracian King Diomedes, 
which were fed on human flesh. He fulfils the task after 
casting the cruel king to his own steeds. 

142. The last adventures are closely related to one 
another, for both show how at the end of his career Herakles 
won immortality by his journey into the nether world and 
into the garden of the gods a conception however which later, 
when the Argive legend was combined with that of Oita and 
Thessaly, was ousted by that of the hero burning himself. 
On the way to the garden of the Hesperides ( maidens of 
the West ), who guard the golden apples of youth and dwell on 
the margin of the western heaven gilded by the sinking sun, 
he strangles in the desert of Northern Africa the giant 
Antaios, raising him up from the earth, his mother, whose 
touch lends her son ever fresh strength. Then he destroys 
in Egypt the King Busiris, who cruelly sacrifices all strangers 
cast upon the shores of his land, and in whose name that of 
the Egyptian god Osiris is certainly contained. After at 
length freeing Prometheus, whom Zeus had chained to the 
Caucasus, he conies to Atlas, who bears the heavens on his 
shoulders, as every mountain appears to do. He begs him 
to pluck for him three apples from the tree of the Hesperides 
and in the meantime takes his place ; or he enters himself into 
the garden of the gods and destroys the dragon Ladon which 
guards the tree. 

143. The bringing up of the hound of hell, Kerberos, was 


put as the hardest toil at the end, plainly because it had been 
forgotten that the fetching of the apples which bestowed 
eternal youth from the Land of the Blessed, conceived as in 
the furthest West, properly signified the reception of Herakles 
among the gods. The same thought later found expression 
in a trait which may also belong to the Argive legend, the 
marriage of Herakles to Hebe, the daughter and virgin counter 
part of the now appeased Hera, whilst Italian story unites its 
Hercules with luno herself. Herakles descends at the pro 
montory of Tainaron into the lower world, frees Theseus 
from bondage, fetters Kerberos, and rises again with him near 
Trozen or Hermione. Another and perhaps older form of 
the same legend seems to be present in the campaign of 
Herakles against Pylos ( gate of the nether world), which 
is already mentioned in the Iliad ; in it he wounds with a 
three-barbed arrow Hades, the ruler of the lower world, and 
his enemy Hera. 

On the fulfilment of the tasks imposed upon him by 
Eurystheus, Herakles servitude came to an end. But 
seemingly it was not till after c. 480 B.C. that the number 
of his labours was fixed at twelve. 

144. The third main group of the Herakles-myths 
consists of the traits native to Thessaly and Oita, to which 
originally belong his conquest of Oichalia and his slavery 
under Omphale. 

Herakles sues for lole, daughter of the mighty archer 
Eurytos, who rules in the Thessalian Oichalia. But although 
he defeats her father in a competition of archery she is denied 
him. In revenge he shortly afterwards hurls her brother 
Iphitos down from a rock, although the latter is lodging with 
him as a guest-friend ; later he also captures the city and 
carries off lole as captive. To free himself from blood-guilt 
he goes to Delphoi ; but Apollon refuses him an answer. 
He then seizes on the sacred tripod in order to carry it off ; 
Apollon seeks to prevent this ; the thunderbolt of Zeus stops a 
conflict as it is breaking out. Herakles is now told by the oracle 
that he can be freed from guilt only by three years of slavery. 


145. Hermes therefore sells him to Omphale, who was 
later regarded generally as queen of Lydia and ancestress of 
the Lydian kings, but originally seems to be the heroine from 
whom was derived the name of Oniphalion, a city which 
probably lay at one time on the borders of Thessaly and 
Epeiros ; l for while in her service he subdues the Itonoi, who 
are certainly the inhabitants of the Thessalian Itonos, where he 
also has a struggle with the mighty Kyknos. He likewise 
conquers the Kerkopes, cunning thieves whose home is at 
Thermopylai, and Syleus ( Robber ) by Pelion. His son 
by Omphale, Lamios or Lamos, gives a name to Lamia, 
which lies not far north from Trachis. Perhaps it was not 
until the legend had been shifted to Lydia that it was 
embellished by the further conceit that Herakles in the 
disguise of a maid worked with the distaff while Omphale 
adorned herself with the lion s skin and club. 

146. Herakles wooing of Deianeira ( Slayer of men ), 
daughter of King Oineus ( Wine-man ) in the vine-growing 
Kalydon, for whose possession he has to fight probably as 
a representative of civilisation with the wild river-god 
Acheloos ( 97), is directly connected with these legends, 
and probably too formed originally a part of them, as its scene 
was the neighbouring Aitolia. Acheloos appears sometimes 
as a natural river, sometimes as a bull or a man with a bull s 
head. It is not until Herakles breaks off one of his horns 
that he confesses himself defeated, and in order to get it back 
offers in exchange the horn of the goat Amaltheia, /. e. the 
horn of plenty from which pour forth nourishment and 
blessing. This horn however is strictly the property of 
Herakles as the giver of fertility, in which quality he was 
much worshipped, especially in the country. A counterpart 
to the contest with the river-god is an adventure usually 
brought into connection with that of the Hesperides the 

1 It is described as a city of Chaonia, Ptolem. iii. 14, 17. The 
ethnic adjective occurs as O^aXtTjes and O/x^oAeJ, nom. plur. , and 
"Ofj.(pa\os, gen. sing. 


wrestle with the Hallos Geron or Old Man of the Sea, who is 
later called Nereus or Triton. 

147. On his return to Trachis he slays the Centaur 
Nessos a counterpart to the fight with the Centaurs on 
Pholoe when the latter seeks to do violence to Deianeira as 
she passes through the river Euenos on his back. When 
dying, the Centaur counsels her to collect as a love-philtre 
the blood streaming from his wound and to take it with her. 
Afterwards when she hears that Herakles, on capturing 
Oichalia, has made the fair lole his captive, she smears it on 
a robe and sends it to her returning husband. Scarcely has 
Herakles put it on when the poison of Nessos eats into his 
body. In anger at the tortures imposed on him he hurls the 
bringer Lichas into the sea, but is not able to tear off the 
robe clinging to his limbs. Deianeira slays herself in despair ; 
Herakles weds lole to his son Hyllos, mounts a funeral pile 
erected on the summit of Oita, and hands over his bow 
and arrows to Poias the father of Philoktetes or to the latter 
himself, appointing him to set fire to the pyre. Amidst 
thunders and lightnings he then rises, purified by the flame, 
into heaven and becomes the peer of the gods. 

148. A passage in the Iliad, and, strictly speaking, 
another in the Odyssey where however, in accordance with 
the harmonising tendencies of a later reviser, only his wraith 
appears shew that the notion was elsewhere held that 
Herakles actually died through the decree of fate and Hera s 
anger, and that he dwelt in the nether world. 

In his whole character Herakles in after times embodies 
the ideal of the noble Dorian warrior ; and in many parts of 
his legend, in his wanderings and struggles, he may be simply 
a type of the Doric race, which paid him especial reverence. 

149. The oldest of his cult- statues that is known to us 
in any detail is one at Erythrai, where like other heroes he 
worked as a god of healing by dream-oracles ( 4). 
According to coins on which he is represented, he stood there 
without the lion s skin, a club in the uplifted right hand, in 


the left a lance or pole, with some unknown object. On the 
other oldest monuments he is also figured as naked ; after 
wards he also wears full armour and a short jerkin, until about 
600 B.C. the type with the lion s skin from Cyprus and 
Rhodes became dominant. The latter was probably connected, 
through the influence of Phoenician models, with Melqart the 
sun-god and king of the city of Tyre, with whom later he was 
often identified. His hair and beard are usually cut short ; more 
rarely he appears in older times without a beard. After the 
beginning of the fourth century he is again regularly figured as 
quite naked ; he then carries the lion s skin on his left arm, the 
club in his right hand. Praxiteles gives him an expression of 
profound sensibility, Lysippos a posture of activity in which 
he balances himself on his hips ; the latter is certainly the 
originator of the type of the weary resting Herakles, as it 
is preserved to us especially in the so-called Farnese 
Hercules at Naples. In the pictures of his exploits in 
earlier times, as well as in the narrative of the Iliad, he 
commonly carries the bow as his weapon, more rarely and 
generally in works of Ionic origin the club, and in those from 
Peloponnesos the sword, which in the Odyssey he bears as well 
as the bow. 

VI. Theseus. 1 50. The commercial Ionian race, who 
were worshippers of Poseidon, had their chief seats in Euboia, 
on the eastern coast of Attica, Argolis, and the islands which 
form connecting links with the Ionic colonies on the shore of 
Asia Minor. Into Athens it made its way from the east and 
south ; hence Ion, the mythical ancestor of the lonians, is 
properly a stranger in Athens and related to the native royal 
house of Kekrops only through his mother Kreusa the 
daughter of Erechtheus. Theseus, also specifically Ionic, is 
less of a foreigner than this un worshipped ancestor of the 
lonians. Like Herakles among the Dorians, Theseus was 
developed as a pure ideal of the Ionic hero. His proper 
home is Trozen in Argolis, which is probably to be regarded 
as a primitive centre of the united Ionian tribes ; for on the 
island of Kalauria fronting it stood the temple of Poseidon, 


which was looked on as the federal sanctuary of an old Ionic 
amphiktyonia or religious union. 

151. The reputed father of Theseus is Poseidon himself, 
or else King Aigeus of Athens, who himself is merely 
Poseidon in another form, having grown into a separate 
personality from one of the god s by-names. His mother is 
Aithra, daughter of King Pittheus of Trozen. Before 
Aigeus parts from her and returns to Athens he hides his 
sword and sandals beneath a heavy rock with the order to 
send his son to him as soon as he can raise it. When grown 
to youth Theseus travels with these tokens over the Isthmos 
to seek his father. On the way he destroys several robbers, 
the clubman Periphetes ; the pine-bender (pityokamptes} 
Sinis ; Skiron, who dwelt on a steep pass of the Isthmos and 
hurled wayfarers down into the sea ; the wrestler Kerkyon ; 
and the giant Damastes, who racked strangers upon a bed, 
whence he was also styled Polypemon ( sorely harmful ) or 
Prokrustes ( racker ). He moreover overcame the wild 
sow of Krommyon. 

152. Meanwhile Aigeus has wedded the sorceress 
Medeia. When Theseus arrives in Athens she seeks to 
poison him ; but he is saved, for his father recognises him by 
the sword he brings. He now overcomes the gigantic 
Pallas and his mighty sons, who rise up against Aigeus ; then 
he tames the Cretan bull which Herakles has let loose, and 
which has run from Mykenai to Marathon. Properly how 
ever this exploit seems to be only a later by-form of his 
struggle with the bull-headed Minotauros, which in the usual 
narrative follows it. 

153. Androgeos, a son of King Minos of Crete, had been 
slain by the Athenians. As an atonement for this murder 
they were compelled to send every nine years to Knosos 
seven boys and seven maidens, who furnished a meal to the 
Minotauros confined in the labyrinth. The latter, conceived 
as a man with a bull s head, was the offspring of Pasiphae, 
a goddess closely akin to Aphrodite and much worshipped in 
Crete and Lakonia, whom heroic legend made the wife of 


King Minos of Crete, by the so-called Cretan bull, that is, the 
bull-shaped sun-god Zeus Asterios of Gortyn, with whom 
Minos himself is probably to be identified (compare 123). 
Theseus, who voluntarily accompanied the victims, received 
on his arrival from Minos daughter Ariadne, who falls in 
love with him, a hank of thread and the counsel to fasten one 
end of the string to the entrance of the maze in order that he 
might find his way out again from its countless intricate 
passages. After slaying the Minotauros he secretly con 
ducted the rescued victims, and with them Ariadne herself, 
away from Knosos and landed with them on the neighbour 
ing isle of Dia or Naxos. Here Ariadne stayed behind, and, 
according to one form of the legend, which is probably the 
older, was slain by Artemis because she had been previously 
united to Dionysos and had preferred to him her mortal lover ; 
according to the view afterwards current she wedded 
Dionysos, who was much worshipped in Naxos, after Theseus 
had privily deserted her. 

1 54. On sailing away from Athens Theseus had promised 
his father to replace the black mourning sail of the ship by a 
white one in case his undertaking should have a prosperous 
issue. As however he forgot to do so, Aigeus on the 
approach of the ship hurled himself down from a rock of the 
Akjopolis or into the sea, which obtained from him the name 
of the Aegaean, Aigaios. Later he was worshipped in 
Athens as a hero. Theseus founded in memory of his 
prosperous return the harvest feast of the Pyanopsia, or bean- 
festival, and the vintage-feast of the Oschophoria ( 115). 
As ruler he now combined twelve separate districts into the 
collective State of Athens on the southern foot of the old 
Akropolis, an event that lived on in the memory of the people 
through the celebration of the ancient Synoikia or * union of 
dwellings, and according to some procured for him his name 
>7<revsj * the Founder (compare 0r/s and Tiflevcu). 

155. Like Bellerophon, Herakles, and Achilleus, Theseus 
fights against the Amazons, either as a comrade of Herakles 
or on the occasion of an inroad made by them into Attica. 


He wins there the love of Antiope or Hippolyte, whom he 
has conquered (we may compare Achilleus and Penthesileia), 
weds her, and begets by her Hippolytos ( unyoker of 
horses ), a hero honoured in Trozen and Sparta. Later his 
stepmother Phaidra ( bright one, a goddess akin to 
Aphrodite), whom Theseus has wedded after the death of the 
Amazon, falls in love with the chaste young Hippolytos, and 
on being rejected by him brings about his ruin through a false 

156. In Marathon, the scene of his struggle with the 
bull and one of the old Ionic Four Cities, Theseus meets the 
Thessalian Peirithoos ( the round-runner ), the King of 
the Lapithai ( stone-folk ), a race akin to the Phlegyai and 
Minyai. With him he forms a close friendship and as is 
already mentioned in the Iliad, in a passage which however is 
much contested fights by his side at his wedding with 
Hippodameia or Deidameia against the wild Centaurs of 
Mount Pelion, when the latter in their drunkenness lay 
violent hands upon the women ; this is a scene often treated 
by art in the first half of the fifth century B.C., notably upon 
the metopes of the Parthenon and the group on the western 
pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympia, whereas earlier, 
as far back as the seventh century, Herakles figures as the 
opponent of the Centaurs. In concert with Peirithoos 
Theseus then abducts the youthful Helena from Sparta, and 
brings her to the hill-fortress of Aphidna (apparently in the 
north of Attica), from which she was later set free by her 
brothers the Dioskoroi, while Theseus with his friend was going 
down into the nether world (probably at Hermione, accord 
ing to the older view) in order to carry off Persephone for 
the latter. Both the friends however adhere to a rock- seat 
at the entrance, and Herakles afterwards is able to tear only 
Theseus loose. 

157. During his absence Menestheus, who in the Iliad 
is the leader of the Athenians, had made himself master of 
the kingdom. Theseus was therefore compelled soon after 
his return to leave the city ; he went to the island of Skyros, 


and was here treacherously thrown down by King Lykomedes 
into the sea. Later however his sons by Phaidra, Demophon 
and Akamas, became rulers in Athens. The bones of 
Theseus, alleged to have been revealed by a miracle, were 
brought in the year 468 B.C. by Kimon from Skyros to 
Athens, and deposited in a sanctuary newly erected to 
him, between the later Gymnasion of Ptolemaios and the 
Anakeion. He did not however receive any proper worship 
in Athens until the Ionic and democratic element of the 
population became supreme, at the beginning of the fifth 
century B. c. 

158. By art Theseus is represented as fighting the 
Minotauros perhaps as early as the ninth century B.C. on gold 
plates found in a grave at Corinth, and soon afterwards on the 
chest of Kypselos, which likewise is of Corinthian origin, as 
standing by Ariadne. In the sixth century the struggle 
with the bull and the Amazons also appears, as well as the 
rape of Helena ; the rest of his adventures cannot be traced 
with certainty in art until the fifth century. His weapon is in 
the oldest period the sword, and in dress and bodily frame too 
he resembles other heroes. Later, in imitation of the type of 
Herakles, he commonly carries the club, and often too the 
skin of a wild beast, but is distinguished from Herakles by 
youthful beardlessness and more slender proportions. Theseus 
is certainly a figure primarily akin to the Dorian Herakles of 
Boiotia, Argolis, and Thessaly, but one that has been 
developed in harmony with the ideal of the Ionic hero. 

VII. Meleagros and the Hunt of Kalydon. 1 59. 
Meleagros, a mighty hunter, was son of Oineus of Kalydon 
and Althaia. He and many comrades destroyed a terrible 
boar sent by Artemis which laid waste the fields. When 
however he slew a brother of his mother in a conflict arising 
from claims for the prize of victory, Althaia prayed the 
infernal gods to avenge the deed of bloodshed on her son, and 
soon after he fell in battle. Poetry after Homer, borrowing 
an idea from the old custom of extinguishing lights in curs 
ing, adds that the Moirai had announced to his mother that he 


should live only so long as a brand smouldering on the heard 
should be unconsumed by the fire ; thereupon she quickl) 
extinguished it and preserved it, but on the slaughter of he 
brother burned it, and thus brought about the death of her son 

1 60. Atalante, the coy huntress of Arkadia and Boiotia 
who is near akin to the huntress-goddess Artemis, was onl 
later brought into connection with Meleagros. In his love 
he promised her the head of the boar as a trophy because sh 
had first wounded the beast ; in consequence he quarrellec 
with his uncle and came to his death in the manner abov 
described. Atalante again would only have for husband th 
man who should conquer her in a race ; the defeated com 
petitors were slain. Meilanion (or Hippomenes, according to 
another legend) received from Aphrodite three golden apple 
which on her advice he threw down while Atalante wai 
running. As she picked them up he meanwhile outdistancec 
her, and thus she became perforce his bride. 

VIII. The Argonauts. 161. The Saga of the 
Argonauts, probably under the influence of the Ionian poets, 
combines so closely together the legends of the Thessalian 
city lolkos, of the Boiotian Orchomenos both of which 
were inhabited by the ancient stem of the Minyai and oi 
Corinth, which from earliest times had had connections by 
sea with the far East, that the proper mythical nucleus in it 
can no longer be determined with certainty. 

lolkos is the home of lason, the Argonauts captain. He 
is son of Aison, but is under the wardship of his uncle Pelias, 
and like Achilleus, Asklepios and Herakles is trained by the 
Centaur Cheiron on the neighbouring Pelion and instructed in 
surgery. During his absence Pelias had received an oracle 
which, as given by Pindar (P. v. 75 f. ), bade him "take 
exceeding heed of the man with one shoe whenso from the 
mountain abode he come to the sunny land of famed lolkos, 
whether stranger or native." As lason had lost a shoe in 
crossing the river Anauros on his return homewards, Pelias 
feared lest he should be ousted by him from his throne, and 
therefore despatched him to fetch the golden fleece from 


Aia, the land of Aietes, in the hope that the youth might 
perish in the attempt. lason mustered a great band of heroes, 
built the first large ship, the Argo ( Swift ), surmounted 
under Hera s protection all the perils that threatened him, and 
after his return ruled in lolkos with Medeia the daughter of 
Aietes as his wife. 

162. Medeia persuaded the daughters of Pelias to slay 
their father, promising to restore him to life and youth, and 
then broke her word. According to the later form of the 
legend, which combines together diverse traits, she then 
fled with lason from Pelias son Akastos to Corinth, while 
splendid funeral games were held in honour of the murdered 

Only one daughter of Pelias, Alkestis, had not shared in 
the killing of her father. She afterwards died a voluntary 
death for her husband Admetos the King of Pherai, when the 
Moirai had decreed that he might be saved by the self-sacrifice 
of another, but she was won back to life by Herakles wrestling 
with Death. 

163. It was however apparently in Orchomenos that 
the myth of the Golden Fleece chiefly developed. King 
Athamas who however is closely connected also with the 
Athamantian Plain at Halos in the Thessalian Phthiotis had 
by Nephele ( Cloud ) two children, Phrixos and Helle. 
At the instigation of his second wife Ino he destined 
Phrixos to be sacrificed to Zeus Laphystios, to heal the 
barrenness of the land ; but Nephele carried off her children 
through the air upon a ram given by Hermes, which had a 
fleece of gold. In the flight Helle fell into the arm of the 
sea named after her Hellespontos, while Phrixos safely reached 
Aia, the bright land of the rising and setting sun, which was 
located sometimes in the East, sometimes in the West. Here 
he sacrificed the ram in his own stead to Zeus Laphystios. 
He hung up its golden fleece in the grove of Ares, where it 
was guarded by a dragon. 

The offering and rescue of Phrixos may have arisen from 
human sacrifice practised in the worship of Zeus Laphystios 


which was later replaced by that of a ram ; and the sann 
circumstance may be the basis of the Iphigeneia legend. Th( 
story relating to Helle was perhaps only tacked on t( 
explain the name of the Hellespont. 

164. To Corinth lastly belongs the legend of Medei; 
and the further developments of the voyage of the Argonauts 
of which the goal was in Corinth specified as Kolchis, th( 
most easterly land known to Corinthian seamen. Aietes, soi 
of Helios and Perse, and supposed original of the name o: 
Aia, was also accounted a prince of Corinth, where upon the 
citadel Ephyre or Akrokorinthos there was a chief seat of the 
worship of Helios ; but he was said to have afterward; 
emigrated to Kolchis. When lason demanded of him the 
return of the Golden Fleece, he declared himself willing i 
lason would first bend to the yoke two fire-breathing bull; 
with brazen feet and with them plough the field of Ares. 
Medeia, who like Ariadne was inspired with love for the 
stranger hero, protected him by a magic unguent from the 
effects of the fire, and then lent him further aid in overcoming 
the dragon that watched the fleece. 

165. She now embarked with the Argonauts, but carried 
off her young brother Apsyrtos with her ; when she was 
followed by her father Aietes she slew the boy and cast his 
limbs one by one in the sea, that her father might be delayed 
in searching for them. After an adventurous journey, which 
later story with increasing geographical knowledge extended 
further and further towards the North and West, they reached 
Corinth or returned to lolkos, where they became supreme. 
But when afterwards lason cast off Medeia in order to wed 
the daughter of King Kreon, Medeia slew the latter together 
with his daughter by means of a poisonous magic robe, and 
after killing her own two children fled upon a dragon-car to 
Athens, where she wedded Aigeus. After her unsuccessful 
attempt on the life of Theseus she returned to her home in Asia. 

Medeia is the mythical prototype of all helpful fairies and 
wicked sorceresses; lason ( Healer ) may be a local hero 
with healing powers who was native to lolkos. 


1 66. To this nucleus of the Argonaut legend was later 
joined a whole series of local stories and shipmen s tales, and 
more heroes were made sharers in the voyage. At Chalked on 
on the Bosporos Polydeukes was said to have overcome in 
boxing the giant Amykos ( mangier ), who prevented 
seafarers from approaching a certain spring. On the other 
side of the Bosporos the Argonauts met the blind king 
Phineus, who was tortured by the Harpies, which as soon as 
he set himself to eat came upon him and carried off or defiled 
his food ; they were now pursued by Zetes and Kalais, the 
sons of Boreas, and driven away for ever (compare this with 
the birds of Stymphalos, 139). In return Phineus teaches 
his saviours how to avoid the further perils of their voyage ; 
in particular they pass safely through the Symplegades ( col 
liding rocks, a development of the Homeric Planktai], which 
hitherto had crushed everything that came between them, but 
henceforth stood fixed at the entrance of the Bosporos. In 
the adventure at Kolchis the sowing of the dragon s teeth 
is a trait transferred to lason from Kadmos ( 123). 

IX. The Theban Legend-Cycle. 167. The all- 
pervading idea that we find underlying the stories combined 
in the Theban series of legends (Kyklos, cycle) is the doctrine 
that man is neither by wisdom nor by power and strength 
able to fulfil his own designs against the will and determina 
tion of the gods. Indeed, the very foresight which seeks to 
bring to naught the purpose of the gods as announced by 
oracles and other signs must itself subserve the execution of 
the divine will. This is shown in the simplest shape in the 
march of the Seven against Thebes described in the Thebais, 
of which the campaign of the Epigonoi or * Descendants is 
a later counterpart ; and it appears in more complicated form 
in the Oidipodeia, which had already in early Homeric times 
treated what is probably the oldest part of the whole legend, 
and led up to the conflict of the Thebais. The concluding 
Allmalonis) from the beginning of the sixth century B.C., 
depicts finally the power of the godhead to punish murder of 
kindred. In the surviving Thebais of the Roman poet Statius 


the leading thoughts of all these lost epics are brought to 
gether. This group of legends is still more fully treated 
from the purely moral standpoint in Attic tragedy, from 
which still survive the Seven against Thebes of Aischylos, the 
Oidipus King, Oidipus at Kolonos, and the Antigone of Sophokles, 
as well as the Phoenician Women of Euripides. 

1 68. Laios the son of Labdakos was by the will of the 
gods to have been the last king of Thebes from the race oi 
Kadmos. He was therefore told by the oracle at Delphoi 
that if he begot a son this son would slay him and wed his 
mother. When nevertheless a son was born to him by hif 
wife lokaste (or Epikaste, as she is styled in the epics), the 
sister of the last Spartos Kreon, he pierced his feet, tied them 
together, and caused him to be exposed on the neighbouring 
Mount Kithairon, in order thus by the slaughter of his child 
to make the fulfilment of the oracle impossible. The child 
however was found by a herdsman, brought to Sekyon oi 
Corinth before King Polybos, and by him adopted and called 
Oidipus, i. e. (as popularly explained) Swell-foot. Wrier 
grown up Oidipus questioned the oracle at Delphoi as to his 
true origin, but received for answer only the ominous words 
that he would go in unto his mother, bring into the world a 
race loathsome to human sight, and slay the father who begot 
him (Oidipus King, 791 if.). To make the threat futile he 
did not return to Corinth ; while still near Delphoi however 
he met his father Laios at a crossway, and on being insulted 
slew him without recognising him. 

169. Meanwhile Thebes had fallen into sore straits. 
The Sphinx (< Strangler ) a monster compounded of the 
upper part of a winged maiden and the lower part of a lion 
with a snaky tail, and probably in origin a goblin-like ghost, 
although later it was completely confused with the similarly 
formed Egyptian and Babylonian symbol of power and speed 
lodged on a hill near to the city, and set to every passer 
by the riddle " Who is it that in the morning walks on four 
legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening on three ? " 
All who failed to guess it she slew, among them, according 


to the older legend, Kreon s son Haimon. Kreon was now 
on the death of his brother-in-law Laios ruler in Thebes. He 
promised as reward for liberation from this pest the hand of 
the queen and the kingship of Thebes. Oidipus rightly ex 
plained the riddle as meaning man, and became now king in 
his native city as well as husband of his mother. According 
to the older epos the gods made manifest this sin shortly after ; 
Epikaste slew herself and Oidipus blinded himself, but after 
wards begot by another wife Euryganeia the sons Eteokles and 
Polyneikes as well as the two daughters Antigone and Ismene. 
Later epos and the tragedians do not speak of any second 
marriage of Oidipus, but make all these children his offspring 
by lokaste herself. According to them his guilt was first 
revealed by the seer Teiresias in consequence of his own 

1 70. For an insignificant offence Oidipus afterwards laid 
on his sons the curse that they should divide their inheritance 
with the edge of the sword. He himself died in Thebes, or 
in the Attic version of the story in exile at the sanctuary of 
the Semnai in Kolonos, near Athens, under the protection of 

171* In the division of their heritage and the kingdom 
Eteokles and Polyneikes fell to quarrelling ; the latter then 
fled to Adrastos, King of Argos and Sekyon. As son-in- 
law of the latter he set on foot an expedition against his 
brother. Adrastos himself undertook to lead it, and his 
brother-in-law the Aitolian Tydeus, the valiant son of Oineus 
of Kalydon, his brothers Hippomedon and Parthenopaios, the 
mighty Kapaneus, and the brave seer Amphiaraos, another 
brother-in-law, supported him. Amphiaraos indeed foresaw 
that he would perish in the campaign, but was nevertheless in 
duced to take a part by his wife Eriphyle, who had been bribed 
by Polyneikes with a splendid necklace that brought disaster 
to its owner. He therefore commanded his son Alkmaion 
( the mighty one ) that he avenge his father s death on his 
mother as soon as he had grown up. 

172. In spite of signs prophetic of disaster the Seven, 


confident in their own power, pressed onward against Thebes 
and beset the seven gates of the city. Kapaneus had already 
mounted the wall when the thunderbolt of Zeus hurled him 
down again. The two brothers Eteokles and Polyneikes 
slew one another in a duel. But the struggle was kept up 
with terrible fury ; Tydeus indeed as he died mangled with his 
teeth the head of his fallen opponent, and sucked his brain out 
of his cloven skull. Amphiaraos sank alive with his chariot 
near Thebes into a rift of the earth which Zeus opened up 
before him by a blow of his thunderbolt. Here he ruled as a 
spirit dispensing oracles by means of dreams ; he received 
the same devout worship in other places, especially at Oropos, 
where the site of his temple and his healing spring have 
recently been brought to light (compare 4). 

173. Of the Seven, according to the later version, 
Adrastos alone escaped, being saved by his swift charger 
Arion. The Thebans were persuaded by him, or, in the 
Attic story, constrained by Theseus, to surrender the corpses 
of the fallen Argives for burial. Aischylos and Sophokles 
further connected with this the ruin of Antigone. According 
to them, Polyneikes as enemy of his native land was doomed to 
lie unburied. His sister Antigone however, in defiance of this 
edict, laid him upon the funeral pile of Eteokles, or at least 
covered him with earth. Seized by the appointed watchmen, 
she was condemned to death for this deed, enjoined as it was 
by sisterly love and divine law. 

174. Ten years afterwards the sons of the fallen heroes, 
the Epigonoi, now attended by the gods favour, marched against 
Thebes, conquered and destroyed it, and established on the 
throne Thersandros, the son of Polyneikes. The whole ex 
pedition was thoroughly worked up by later poetry as a 
counterpart of the first. Alkmaion, the leader of the host, 
fulfilled before departure his father s injunction, and to avenge 
him slew his mother. Although however Apollon himself 
had given his approval to this, Alkmaion was pursued like 
Orestes by the Erinyes until after long wanderings he found 
final rest on the island of Acheloos in Akarnania, which had 


just arisen from the sea and therefore was not defiled by the 
murder of his mother. 

X. The Achalan and Trojan Cycle. 175. The 
excavations carried on from the year 1871 by H. Schliemann 
and his able collaborator W. Dorpfeld have made it highly 
probable that a real prehistoric event underlies the siege of 
Troy described in Homer s Iliad. Upon the hill of His- 
sarlik in the plain of the Troad depicted by Homer, and on 
the same site as the later Ilion, arose over the remains of five 
older foundations a mighty citadel with circling walls five 
metres in thickness, built of great limestone slabs. It had 
four gates and a doorway in the north-eastern tower ; on the 
eastern side were three towers, of which one protected the 
gate and another enclosed a well. Along the inside of the 
wall ran a line built over with magazines, the roof of which 
was probably a sheltered passage. Further inwards the citadel 
rose in terraces ; the main streets were paved in the centre 
with gypsum, and drains and walled wells were also found. 
The whole foundation moreover seems to have been sud 
denly consumed by a terrible fire. In this sixth stratum 
sherds of earthenware jars certainly manufactured in Mykenai, 
especially the hooped jugs peculiar to that city, are every 
where mixed with the native pottery, which demonstrates not 
only that this stratum was contemporary with the palmy days 
of Mykenai (about 1400-1200 B.C.), but also that the two 
cities had commercial relations with one another. Under 
these circumstances the view generally accepted in later times, 
which dated the destruction of Troy in the year 1184 B.C., 
may approximate to the truth, despite the inadequate grounds 
which may have given birth to it. 

176. The whole mass of legend was handled in several 
epics, which, with their reputed authors and dates, are 
I. The Kypria of a Cypriote poet, perhaps Stasinos, which 
arose after the completion of the additions inserted into 
the Iliad; 2. the Iliad of Homer, probably about 900 
B.C.; 3. the Aithiopis of Arktinos of Miletos, about 750 
B.C ; 4. the Little Iliad of the Lesbian Leeches, from the 

first half of the seventh century ; 5. the Destruction of Ilios 
( lAi ov Trepov.?), also by Arktinos ; 6. the Home-comings 
(Noo-roi) by Agias of Trozen, later than Arktinos arid the 
Odyssey ; 7. the Odyssey, about 800 B.C. ; 8. the Telegoneia 
of Eugammon of Kyrene, about 570 B.C. 

177. Apart from fragments and scanty epitomes, there 
survive only the Iliad and Odyssey, which the ancients 
already recognised to be the noblest flowers in the garland of 
epic poetry. Both of these were formerly ascribed to the 
single and unequalled poetical genius of Homer, although the 
great discrepancies displayed both in the descriptions of social 
conditions and in religious conceptions lead inevitably to the 
conclusion that there were several authors of these poems, at 
any rate in their present form. Seven cities disputed with 
one another for the honour of claiming Homer as their own ; 
Smyrna, which is first mentioned in the list, seems to have 
the best right, for the Iliad itself shews that the poet pro 
bably knew the country in the lower course of the Hermos. 
In its original form the Iliad described only the disastrous 
conflict between Achilleus and Agamemnon. Into this oldest 
epic, which was the nucleus of the whole cycle of Trojan 
story and contained the germs of all other poems in it, in 
sertions of many sorts were later made, and the whole was 
probably worked over ; but even in its present form the under 
lying and dramatically shaped plan is so clearly discernibl 

that there can be no doubt that this nucleus was the deliberate 
creation of a single poet. 

178. Corresponding with the so-called introductory 
accord of the drama, the Iliad begins with a description of 
the pestilence brought in the tenth year of the siege of Troy 
upon the Greek host by Apollon on account of an insult to 
his priest Chryses. The pride of Agamemnon, the com- 
mander-in-chief, is responsible for the heavy loss and defeats 
of the Greeks in the course of the main action ; and here he 
excites the anger of Apollon by his refusal to give back to the 
suppliant priest his abducted daughter. This is at once 
followed by the exciting moment ; Achilleus, the noblest 


hero in the Greek camp, demands of Agamemnon in the 
name of the perishing army the restoration of Chryseis. 
Thus the knot is tied ; Agamemnon indeed agrees to his 
demand, but takes away from him Briseis, whom Achilleus 
had received as a gift of honour from the army. Achilleus 
now wrathfully withdraws from the contest, and at his 
entreaty his mother Thetis prays Zeus as guide of battles to 
vouchsafe victory to the Trojans until her son should have 
received full satisfaction. 

179. In Books II. VII. we have the first thickening 
of the plot in the form of counterplay. First Agamemnon 
tries to bring about a conclusion of the war without Achilleus 
by means of a duel between Paris, the abductor of Helena, 
and her lawful husband Menelaos ; the former is defeated, 
Aphrodite rescuing him, but the compact is immediately 
broken by a treacherous bow-shot of the Trojan Pandaros. 
The Achaians now press forward, and in their advance 
Diomedes, the son of Tydeus and ruler of Argos, who is 
specially protected by Athena, and Aias the son of Telamon 
of Salamis, the bravest of the Greek heroes after Achilleus, 
distinguish themselves by single combats. Agamemnon 
now fancies himself near to victory over Troy and at the 
same time over his opponent Achilleus ; but Zeus, in com 
pliance with the promise given to Thetis, forbids the gods to 
take further part in the conflict. The Greeks in consequence 
are driven back into their camp ; and here begins the second 
thickening of the plot, this time in the main action (Books 

1 80. Lest he should be compelled to humble himself 
before Achilleus, Agamemnon makes the proposal, originally 
no doubt in all seriousness, to entirely give up the siege. 
But Diomedes and old Nestor, the ruler of the Messenian 
and Triphylian Pylos, who is remarkable beyond all the other 
generals for wisdom and eloquence, oppose him (Book II.). 
The Greeks then make another bid for victory in the open 
field, but suffer a complete defeat ; Agamemnon himself, like 
most of the other heroes, is wounded (to Book XI.). 


The climax ot the action and the apparently imminent 
victory of the dramatic hero, Achilleus, are marked by the 
< battle about the ships (Books XIII. XV.). Hektor, the 
most valiant son of King Priamos of Troy, and Apollon press 
into the Greek camp and set fire to the ships, by which the 
destruction of the whole host becomes almost inevitable. 
Now at the moment of supreme necessity comes the turning- 
point (peripeteia}, which is moreover due to the vacillation of 
Achilleus himself. Half relinquishing his decision, he sends 
his friend Patroklos in his own panoply at the head of his 
Myrmidones to aid the distressed Greeks. They drive the 
enemy out of the camp ; but when, contrary to his friend s 
command, Patroklos pursues the Trojans, he is slain by 
Hektor (Book XVI.). 

1 8 1. Here begins the declining action (Books XVII. 
XXL). The moment of final intensity consists in the restora 
tion of Briseis to Achilleus and the humiliation of Agamemnon. 
But now Achilleus victory is but the semblance of a victory, 
as he himself fully recognises. For he too, hero as he is, 
has brought on his head the guilt of pride (hybris ) by having 
for so long looked in inaction upon the ruin of his people in 
revenge for the personal insult done to him by Agamemnon. 
This guilt of his brings about the death of Patroklos, and 
therewith the catastrophe (Book XXII.). After getting 
through his mother new arms from Hephaistos, Achilleus 
slays Hektor, although he knows well that he himself must 
die soon after the fall of this foe, and the fatally wounded 
Hektor himself reminds him of his now impending doom. 
The action dies away in the burial of Patroklos and Hektor 
and the wail of Achilleus for the loss of his friend, in which 
he prepares himself for his imminent death, so that the latter 
in Homer only in a certain sense takes place behind the 

1 82. The Odyssey, said to have been the model for all poets 
describing the home-coming of the heroes of Troy, is also 
clearly based on a uniform plan, and afterwards expanded by 
insertions. To the latter notably belongs the whole Tele- 


macheia (Books I. IV.), in which is described Telemachos 
journey to Pylos and Lakonia, as well as the greater part of 
the last book and the poem treating of the passage of Odys 
seus into the nether world, which though inserted in late 
times may itself be very old. To gain information as to the 
abode of his father Odysseus, who has been absent nearly 
twenty years, Telemachos visits old Nestor and then Menelaos. 
Both tell him of the home-coming of themselves and the 
other heroes ; from the latter he also learns that his father is 
detained in the far West upon the island of the nymph 
Kalypso. But before Telemachos returns to Ithaka Odys 
seus himself has already arrived there. Thus his enterprise 
has no influence on the course of events. 

183. The old Home-coming of Odysseus, which was created 
out of disjointed primitive lays, depicted only the last year, 
/ . e. the proper catastrophe, while preceding events were 
mentioned in the course of the narrative, as in the Iliad ; and 
this proves that the author was an imitator of the poet of 
the Iliad, which he used as a model. After Odysseus, the 
ruler of the little island of Ithaka, has lost his comrades and 
ships on his wanderings in the return from Troy, he lives for 
seven years, consumed with longing for his home, on the 
island of Ogygia with Kalypso ( Concealer ), who strives 
to bind him permanently to herself. In Ithaka he is awaited 
with equal yearning by his faithful wife Penelope, who is 
wooed by numerous arrogant suitors. Moved by Athena s 
requests, Zeus at length commands the nymph to let Odysseus 
go. He sails on a raft until close to the island of the 
Phaiakes. Here, however, Poseidon shatters his craft ; and 
it is only with the aid of the goddess Ino-Leukothea that he 
can swim to the beach. 

184. Nausikaa, the daughter of King Alkinoos, gives 
him clothing and leads him into the palace of her father. At 
mealtime he recounts himself his previous adventures. He 
lost many of his comrades in battle with the brave Kikones ; 
others, who had tasted the sweet fruit of the lotus in the land 
of the Lotus-eaters (lotophagoi], he had been compelled to drag 


by force back to the ships, for enjoyment of the lotus had 
made them forget fatherland and friends. Then he fell into 
the cave of the one-eyed Kyklops Polyphemos, who devoured 
several of his shipmates, but at last was made drunk and 
blinded by Odysseus as he slept. Polyphemos being a son 
of Poseidon, the latter was now wroth with the returning 
travellers. They came to Aiolos, the ruler of the winds, 
and he graciously confined all the contrary winds in a skin, 
so that they would have reached home in safety if Odysseus 
comrades had not secretly opened the skin. 

185. All the ships except the one on which was Odysseus 
himself were now shattered by the gigantic Laistrygones. 
With the last he landed on the island of the enchantress 
Kirke, who first turned a part of his crew into swine ; but 
when threatened by Odysseus himself she restored them to 
their human shape, and all were now kindly entertained by 
her. Instructed at length by her as to the way leading home, 
they prepared after a year s stay to continue their journey. 
Passing the island of the vulture-shaped Sirens (Seirenes], 
who enchanted men by their song and then slew them, he 
voyaged on between the seats of the sea-monsters Skylla and 
Charybdis to the island of Thrinakia, 1 where under the in 
fluence of hunger his shipmates slaughtered kine from the 
sacred herds of Helios. As punishment for this the lightning 
of Zeus shattered the last ship ; only Odysseus himself, who 
had not shared in the sin, escaped on the mast, and after being 
tossed about for nine days reached the island of Kalypso. 

1 86. Alkinoos, touched with compassion at this narrative, 
now sends the man of many woes with rich gifts to Ithaka in a 
swift ship. Lest he be at once recognised, his guardian goddess 
Athena gives him the semblance of an old beggar. In this 
form he visits his herdsman Eumaios, and hears from him of 
the arrogance of his wife s wooers. Only to his son Tele- 
machos does he reveal who he is ; but his old hound and his 
nurse Eurykleia also recognise him, despite his transformation, 

1 Apparently the name Trinakria given to Sicily is the same word 
but altered by popular etymology, which connected it with &icpa. 


whilst he is staying in his own house as a beggar. Penelope 
has just announced that she will wed him who can bend the 
bow of her dead husband and shoot an arrow through the 
eyes of twelve axes placed one behind the other. The 
suitors all strive in vain ; at length Odysseus fulfils the task. 
He now reveals himself, and with the support of his son and 
the two faithful herdsmen Eumaios and Philoitios lays all the 
suitors low after a furious battle. Penelope now receives the 
news of her husband s return. Lastly he visits his old father 
Laertes, who cultivates a farm in the neighbourhood. 

The works of art relating to the Theban and Trojan 
cycles of legends are collected in Overbeck, Bildiverke zum 
thebanischen und troischen Heldenkreis. 

NOTE. The view summarily set forth in 176 above, that the 
Iliad and Odyssey are the oldest of the great epics, and the models 
of all others, is that held by Aristarchos in antiquity and by many 
other scholars. None the less it is hardly tenable. There is no suffi 
cient evidence, internal or external, that as a whole the other epics 
were later. They contained doubtless late passages ; but so does the 
Iliad. The whole mass of these epics really formed a Corpus ; the 
earliest and best tradition known to us assigned the authorship of 
the whole to Homer. On the other hand, later traditions assigned 
one poem to Arktinos, another to Stasinos, and so forth ( 176). 
The inference is clear. There were once famous minstrels Romeros, 
Arktinos, Stasinos, and others whose names survived in local 
legend, sometimes perhaps attached to a particular poem. The 
most renowned was Homeros, and hence many attributed the com 
position of all the epics to him ; later, when popular favour had 
selected two poems, the Iliad and Odyssey, as the best of the whole 
series, these two were alone ascribed to him. Meanwhile stu 
dents disinterred the names of Stasinos and the others from local 
legends, and assigned to each of them the authorship of one of the 
now anonymous poems, and thus was formed the catalogue of 176. 


Mythology and Religion of the Romans. 

187. In religion, as in all other spheres of mental life 
Greek influences gradually ousted the native Roman spirit 
or at least filled the simple old forms with a new content 
This process began as early as the reign of the seconc 
Tarquinius, Greek conceptions finding their way into Rome 
through the medium either of the Etruscans or of colonies 
in Lower Italy like Cumae. From about the time of the 
Second Punic War they began, at any rate in cultured circles 
to completely destroy the old faith, until finally almost al 
worships that were in existence anywhere in the might) 
empire were transferred to Rome. All statements which 
we find in authors as to the circumstances of the old Romar 
religion have already taken their colouring from this Greek 
tendency ; only the festival calendar, which was set up before 
this period, and the existence of certain priesthoods, the 
foundation of which goes back to this earliest period, supply 
reliable if scant information as to what was genuinely Roman. 
These earliest testimonies shall therefore serve in the following 
exposition as landmarks, in order to exclude, as far as is 
possible, all that was imported from Greece into the religion 
of Rome. 

I. Indeterminately conceived beings. 188. By 
the side of the true divinities we find in Roman belief a series 
of figures which have neither developed into uniform concep 
tions nor grown into complete personalities, but have remainec 
in the sphere of ancestor-worship and daemonism. 

( I ) Among them the ghosts in the proper sense the 
Manes, Lemures, and Larvae take the first place. The souls 
of the departed in later times are usually designated by the 
flattering name of manes, pure or good ones, or generally 
as inferi, infernal ones. Of these, each family paid especial 
reverence to the spirits of its own ancestors as the di inferum 
parentium, and as di parentes or patni. A conscientious 


observance of all the rules of ceremonious burial was rigidly 
insisted upon ; even after cremation of the dead had become 
usual, the old customs applicable to burial were kept unaltered. 
On the Qth, nth, and 1 3th of May were celebrated the 
Lemuria, on which the souls were believed to arise from their 
graves in the form of goblins (Lemures or Larvae]. As a 
universal festival of atonement and worship of the dead, men 
also celebrated at the end of the old Roman year the dies 
parentales from the 1 3th to the 2 ist of February, and especially 
the Feralia on the last of these days, by presenting offerings of 
food and drink at the graves. The resemblance of the dead 
to a sleeper led on the other hand, as the grave-inscriptions 
shew, to a belief in later times that he slumbers in the grave 
in everlasting tranquillity and happiness (compare 213, Deities 
of Death}. 

(2) Closely allied to the ghosts are the Genii, representing 
the man s powers of life and reproduction, and the lunones of 
the women, which in their character exactly correspond to 
them. On birth they enter into human beings, on death they 
leave them ; then they become Manes, and, exactly like the 
souls of the departed, they are depicted under the form of a 
snake. At the same time however the Genius or the luno 
is a deity worshipped as guardian spirit in the human being, 
by which men swear and to which an offering is presented on 

Starting from this conception of a personal guardian spirit 
with powers of reproduction, men later came to attribute 
Genii to the family, the city, the state, and finally to any place 
wheresoever a creative energy might display itself, and thus 
actually assigned to them the part of true nature-spirits. 

189. (3) A midway position like that of these Genii is 
occupied by the kindred Lares, who were regarded as guardian 
spirits of meadows, vineyards, roads, and groves, as well as of 
the house itself, but at the same time were honoured by various 
rites corresponding exactly to the worship of the dead. In 
earlier times, as a rule, mention is made only of a single lar 
familiaris, who guards and represents the hearth and home; 


later however they always appear in pairs. Their exactlj 
similar pairs of little wooden images were set up over the 
hearth in the Atrium ; at every meal, and especially on tht 
Calends, Nones, and Ides, and at all family feasts the housewife 
offered to them a little food and a fresh crown. 

(4) Under the title Di Penates, the figures of whom wen 
likewise set up on the hearth, were comprised again all the 
gods which were looked upon as guardians of the store-roorr 
(penus} in the house, although apparently the same deities 
were not everywhere understood by the name ; lanus, luppiter. 
and Vesta are mentioned among them. From the individua 
house their worship was translated, like that of the Genius, tc 
the civic community, and hence these Penates Publici were 
honoured on the State Hearth in the temple of Vesta. 

190. (5) Quite peculiar to Roman religion, and conceivec 
without any traits of personal character, are the Indigete. 
or Workers Within, the spirits bringing to pass any par 
ticular activity in certain persons or things. To each of these 
beings was ascribed one single strictly limited sphere of oper 
ation, which was exactly determined by the spirit s name : 
hence heed had to be paid that the right Indiges should be 
called upon for aid at the right moment. The priestly college 
of the Pontifices, which had supreme functions of superintend 
ence in these matters as well as in other questions of cult 
was inspired by a striving for accuracy and definiteness tc 
construct especially, as it would seem, in the course o: 
the fourth century B.C. an almost endless series of these 
Spirits of Actions, on the model of older single figures of thi: 
sort. But as a natural result of this exaggeration these 
Indigetes soon lost their importance ; at any rate their whole 
cult had already fallen into decay by the time of the Seconc 
Punic War. How artificial these distinctions were is provec 
e. g, by the fact that it was necessary to invoke Abeona wher 
a child first walked out of the house and Adeona when ii 
returned, as well as Domiduca and Iterduca. 

II. Nature-Spirits and Deities closely akin tc 
the Spirits of Actions. 191. (i) The only nature- 


spirits with a fully developed personality in Rome are the 
representatives of the powers at work in springs and rivers. 
As in Greece, the former were usually conceived as female 
beings ; they were worshipped in the grove surrounding their 
spring, but early developed likewise into goddesses of sooth 
saying and song, as well as into helpers in painful childbirth. 
On the former ground the Camenae, who were native to a 
grove before the Porta Capena, were later completely identified 
with the Greek Muses, whilst the closely allied Egeria, the 
soothsaying wife of King Numa, who also dwelt in this grove, 
was mainly invoked as a goddess of birth. Both properties 
appear in Carmenta, the mother of Evander, who probably 
gets her name from carmen, * prophecy. The spring- 
goddess luturna again, whose name was borne by several 
springs in Latium, was as wife of lanus made the mother of 
Fons or Fontus, the spring itself conceived as a god. 

192. Of the river-gods, Pater Tiberinus enjoyed the 
highest honours in Rome. A special college of priests, the 
Pontifices or * bridge-makers, was entrusted with the making 
of the Pans Sublicius or pile-bridge leading over the river. So 
highly were they esteemed that they gradually rose to be a 
board of superintendence in all matters of religion. The 
high antiquity of their foundation is indicated by a regulation 
according to which no iron might be used in the building of 
the bridge. Equally primitive is the sacrifice of the so-called 
Arge t, in which dolls made of reeds were in later times cast 
down into the stream from this bridge in place of earlier 
human offerings. In Lavinium again men worshipped the 
god of the river Numicius, in Umbria the Clitumnus, and 
in Campania the Volturnus. 

193. By the side of the spirits thus confined to a single 
spring or river, Neptunus, as representative of water in general, 
seems in earlier times to stand entirely in the background. 
To him however were celebrated the Neptunalia in the 
hottest month, on the 23rd of July, probably to induce him 
to vouchsafe the needful moisture. He certainly did not 
become a proper god of the sea until his identification with 


Poseidon, whose service was introduced into Rome in th 
year 399 B.C. at the command of the Sibylline Books. 

194. (2) Among the deities worshipped from the earlies 
times the following are fairly near to the above mentionet 
Spirits of Actions lanus the god of the door-way (ianus 
or of the whole door of the house (ianua), Vesta the goddes 
of the fire on the hearth, Volcanus the creator of conflagration 
the war-god Mars, Saturnus and Consus the gods of seed am 
harvest, and the whole series of the gods and goddesses activi 
in vegetation. 

Ianus developed from being the spirit and guardian of th< 
single door into the representative of entrances in general, anc 
thus into the god of commencement, as both these ideas are 
expressed by the one word initium. Consequently the begin 
ning of the day and of the month, i.e. the morning (lanm 
Matutinus} and all the Calends, are sacred to him ; his montl 
lanuariusj which coincides with the beginning of the increase 
of the day s length, was promoted later to be the propel 
commencement of the year. 1 On the 9th of January, at thf 
sacrificial festival held in his honour (jlgonium), the bell 
wether of a flock was offered to him originally by the kin 
himself, who obviously had taken the place of the house 
father when the domestic worship of Ianus was transferred tc 
the State, and later by the Rex Sacrorum. He is first invoked 
at the beginning of all actions, particularly in prayers and 
sacrifices ; indeed he is regarded, even in early times, as 
the very principium and father of the gods. 

195. The god s chief sanctuary, Ianus Geminus 01 
Quirlnusj lay on the northern side of the Forum opposite 
the temple of Vesta, which was regarded as the hearth oi 
the community ; it was the primitive vaulted gateway or 

1 An old goddess of the happy new year is perhaps Diva 
Angerona, worshipped on the zist of December, who is represented 
with her mouth closed or covered by her ringer (comp tre fa-vett 
linguii, fliifirj/Li.f ire). On the other hand Anna Peranna or Perenna, 
the goddess of the expiring year, whose festival was held on the 
1 5th of March, is to be regarded as representing the change of the 


entrance of the Forum, which was built on the model of 
the domestic atrium. The door fixed on the two sides of the 
passage were kept open as long as an army was in the field, 
probably because at one time the king himself marched out 
to the wars, and for him the door of the city, as for the 
house-father the door of the house, had to remain open until 
he returned home. Under the arch of the gate stood the 
statue of the god, with a double face looking towards both 
the entrance and exit. Though this shape was probably 
created from Greek models, it nevertheless was certainly 
meant to express the vigilance appropriate to a door-keeper. 
Like a real door-keeper (lanitor] he holds a key and a rod 
or stick (<virga} to keep off troublesome intruders ; his activity 
is characterised by the names Patulcius ( opener ) and 
Clusivius or Clusius ( closer ). 

Another chief seat of his ancient worship was the hill 
called from his name the laniculum, on which King Ancus 
Marcius constructed a fortification to guard the trade-route 
leading from Etruria into the harbour of the Tiber at the foot 
of the hill. Thus from being a god of ingoing and outgoing 
he came to be the guardian of traffic and shipping ; his head, 
with the prow of a ship, was put on the oldest Roman coin, 
the yfs, and later the real harbour-god Portunus was represented 
in a shape resembling his. 

196. Vesta, like the Hestia of the Greeks, embodies the 
power at work in the fire of the hearth, a power which men 
worshipped in the fire itself without a special figure of the 
goddess. The city too had its communal hearth with its 
Vesta and Penates, which in Rome stood in a little round 
temple on the southern side of the Forum. The service of 
the goddess was performed by six virgins who were chosen by 
the Pontifex Maximus in their childhood and were compelled 
to remain unwedded for thirty years. If one of these Vestals 
allowed the sacred fire to go out or became guilty of unchas- 
tity, she was condemned by the Pontifex Maximus to the 
severest penalties ; and the holy fire had to be kindled anew 
by means of the ancient fire-drill or later by burning-glasses. 


The Vestalia, the chief festival of the goddess, fell on t 
9th of June ; on this day the matrons presented offerings 
food on the communal hearth. 

197. A complement and counterpart to this benefactre 
of mankind is Volcanus, representing the power of 
destroying all the works of man s hand, that is, as god 
conflagration. As on this account he had to be kept far fro 
the houses of the city, he had his temple outside in t! 
Campus Martius. His chief festival, the folcanalia, w 
celebrated on the 23rd of August, at the time when after tl 
harvest-home the full garners especially needed his protectio 
In order that he might assuage the fire when once broken o 
he was styled also Mulciber^ mitis, or quietus. He may ha 
been in the first instance connected with the lightning-fir 
because the latter also causes conflagrations ; he is howev 
invoked in old prayers together with Maia, the goddess 
earth s fertility worshipped in May, and so it appears mo 
probable that his influence was seen generally in the fire i 
the lightning and sun under all circumstances. It was perha; 
only through identification with Hephaistos that he becarr 
god of the smith s craft and of volcanoes. 

198. Saturnus, Census, and Ops, the deities protectin 
agriculture, have preserved in the same way as Volcanus tl 
character of spirits of actions. Saturnus or Saeturnus is tr 
god of sowing ; after the completion of the autumn sowin 
the festival of the Saturnalia was held in his honour from tl 
1 7th to the 2 1st or 23rd of December with revelry, exchanj 
of gifts, and liberation of slaves from their wonted toils. Tr 
wax candles which regularly formed a part of the presen 
undoubtedly typified the now beginning increase in the sun 
light, which permitted the hope that the seed hidden in tr 
earth would thrive. His old sanctuary and his temple, whic 
was built by Tarquinius Superbus, stood on the slope leadir 
from the Forum to the Capitol. 

Census on the other hand is the god of harvest, the dei 
condendi or deity of the stowing-away of the fields produo 
As this however was originally stored in subterranean chan 


bers, the old altar of Census in the Circus Maximus was 
commonly hidden in the earth, and only dug up and laid bare 
for sacrificial uses during the festival of the Consualia, which 
were celebrated with races on the 2ist of August and the 
1 5th of December. 

Ops Consiva, / . e. Ops as wife of Census, is closely con 
nected with the latter. She represents the opimafrugum cofia, 
or " foison plenty," which is stowed away at harvest-time ; 
her two feasts, the Opiconsivia and the Opalia, are separated 
from those of her husband by an interval of only three days. 
Later Saturnus was identified with Kronos, Ops with Rhea, 
and many peculiarities of the Greek cult were transferred to 
the Roman. 

J 99 (3) The v ta ^ ener gy at work in wood and field 
was ascribed to the activity of various creative and receptive 
gods and goddesses. Peasants and herdsmen who thought 
that they owed to them the produce of the soil and increase of 
their herds paid honour to them ; and like their worshippers 
the gods dwelt by preference in shadowy groves and by 
purling springs. Their character was as simple and rustic 
as the minds of their worshippers, and everything that was 
dear to the countryman was placed under their protection. 

Faunus, the husband or father of Fauna, who was 
generally invoked as Bona Dea, is designated as the * kindly 
god by his name, which is derived from favere, to be 
favourable. He appears in human form under the Greek 
name of Evander, the goodman, who was said to have 
founded the first settlement on the site of the later Rome. Of 
this Evander the story was also told that he set up the oldest 
sanctuary of Faunus in a cavern on the Palatine Hill and 
established the festival of the Lupercalia held there on the 
1 5th of February, in which the Luperci or priests of Faunus 
Lupercus ( Wolf- Faunus ), naked but for a girdle of a 
goat s skin, sought to secure fertility for men, beasts, and 
fields by running round the old domain of the city. In 
agreement with this Faunus was himself figured as naked, 
with a goat s skin, crown, horn of plenty, and drinking-horn. 



8 200. Very near to him is Silvanus, the forest-spirit 
whose activity however, as his very name indicates .con 
Terned more exclusively with the woodlands, and hence 
arthe has a pine crown in his hair and a twig of pine on h. 
am Like P Faunus, he terrifies the lonely wanderer by th 
prophetic voices of the forest ; Silvanus however is especiall 
the guardian of boundaries and of property in general. 

In the luxuriant fertility of the fields and vineyards agai 
men saw specifically the energy of Liber and his wife Libera 
STese, like luppiter Liber, were characterised by their nam 
a the libera dispensers of plenty, but later were regularl 
identified with Dionysos and Persephone. The latter s nan- 
was changed in Italy" into the form Proser^a, probably und 
The influence of the Indigital goddess presiding over the seed 
unward climbing (proserpere ; see 190). 
P In the same way too (he gardens and then- fruitj-tre* ; stan 
under the special guardianship of Vertumnus, who chang 
his form as the garden in the different seasons changes _! 
appearance, and Sf Pomona, the comely bestower of firm 
both were characterised by the pruning-kniie. 

5 2 oi. Among the goddesses of fertility Fauna or Bo 
Dea takes highest rank. Her most venerated sanctuary 
Rome, the foundation of which was commemorated on the 
of Mav lay at the foot of the Aventme ; her chief -stn 
S wa s celebrated by the Vestal Virgins and the nob 

like her husband Faunus she holds a horn of 

" Besides the above mentioned Libera and Pomona Feron 
Flora Pales, and perhaps Diana are akin to the Bona D 

The Feronia of Central Italy had her chief places 
worship in a grove at Capena on Soracte in , Er -d 
another near Tarracina in the neighbourhood of the Pompt 
Marshes ; in Rome a festival in her honour was held m 


middle of November on the Campus Martius. She is 
always invoked as bestowing a blessing on the harvest ; as 
however slaves enjoyed many liberties on all harvest festivals, 
the emancipation of slaves was often performed in the temple 
of this goddess. 

202. Flora, also native to Central Italy, is in a more 
restricted sense the goddess of flowers, and hence also the 
dispenser of fertility. In Rome she possessed a very ancient 
temple upon the Quirinal. On the 2 8th of April was celebrated 
the flower-festival of the Floralia with wild dances and coarse 
jests ; scenic shows and circus games were later added. 
With her was connected Robigus, the god guarding the corn 
from mildew (robigo}. 

Pales on the other hand is the patron deity of pastures and 
herds of cattle ; her name indeed is connected with pasco 
graze (compare Pan, 90). In Rome she had her seat 
upon the Palatine, which probably derives its name from her ; 
on the 2 ist of April the Par dia were held in her honour, in 
which sheep and stables were cleansed and sanctified by water 
and bloodless sacrifices. With the same purpose herdsmen and 
herds leaped between piles of blazing straw, much as at the 
festival of Feronia, and in Germany at the Osterfeuer and 

203. Finally Diana too belongs in all probability to 
this series of goddesses of fertility. Like the others, she 
was worshipped in well-watered groves (Diana Nemorensis ) , 
particularly on Mount Tifata near Capua and at Aricia in the 
neighbourhood of Tusculum. At Aricia her priesthood 
devolved upon him who slew her former priest with a branch 
broken off in the holy grove obviously a kind of human 
sacrifice offered with the aid of the goddess herself, who was 
potent in her trees. In Rome her ancient temple lay on the 
Aventine, and here, as throughout Italy, her chief festival was 
celebrated on the Ides of August, on which day Vertumnus 
also received a sacrifice. In Aricia a torchlight procession 
was brought to her in the early morning ; in the same way 
Pales at sunrise and Flora were celebrated with kindling of 


lights. 1 Like Feronia she protects slaves, and in particula: 
those who had taken refuge in her sacred wood and wen 
being pursued like the hunted deer. Like the Bona Dea als< 
she is worshipped above all by women, and invoked as give 
of fertility and of easy childbirth. This quality is perhap 
the reason that several of her temples, especially those a 
Tusculum, Aricia, and Rome, were regarded as the federa 
sanctuaries of various Latin tribes. Afterwards Diana, as ; 
goddess of groves and fertility, was completely identified wit! 
Artemis, and thence became the goddess of the chase, an< 
finally also the moon-goddess, a conception which only he 
festival on the Ides can justify us in attributing to the nativ 

204. (4) A god worshipped from the earliest times b; 
all the tribes of Central Italy is Mars, Marmar ( Slayer ?) 
Mamers or Mavors, who bears the ancient by-name Gradivu 
( the approaching one, i.e. apparently the foot-soldier ) 
He is closely related to the Spirits of Actions in so far as h 
represents mainly the divine power at work in war, althoug 
his activity is not restricted to so narrow a field as that c 
the Indigetes of later times who arose from the artificial w: 
of priests. 

205. In the old king s house at Rome, the Regia, wer 
preserved the sacred spear of Mars and a shield that had falle 
from heaven (ancile),on the model of which King Numa ha 
caused eleven other shields to be made. Furnished with these 
the twelve Palatine Salii ( Springers ), the priests of Man 
performed armed dances in the god s sacred month whil 
singing ancient songs in which he was called upon to prote< 
the meadows, field-produce, and vineyards. That thi 
ceremony marks the beginning of the war-season, which w; 
limited to the summer, is made fairly clear by th 
significance of his other festivals; for on the 2yth < 
February and on the 1 4th of March were held near the ol 
altar of Mars in the middle of the Campus Martius th 
1 The Mater Matuta too, for whom the Matralla ( matron 
festival ) were held, was a goddess both of dawn and of birth. 


Equirria, consisting of a review of horses and a chariot-race, 
and again on the I9th and 23rd of the same month, at the 
festivals of the Quinquatrus and Tubilustrium, weapons and 
military trumpets were examined and purified. Similarly 
after the end of the war-season, on the I9th of October, 
a purification of weapons {Armilustrium) was held; and to 
the Equirria of spring certainly corresponded the sacrifice 
of the October Horse, as on the 1510 of October a 
horse that had been a winner in the preceding chariot- 
race was slaughtered to Mars. Moreover the dedica 
tion of the so-called ver sacrum, i. e. the vow made on the 
occasion of severe misfortunes to sacrifice the expected 
produce of the coming spring, whether man, cattle, or fruits, 
shews Mars to be a god of war, for it was in stress of war as 
a rule that this vow was made. 

Men regarded as sacred to him the wolf, the type of blood 
shed, and the woodpecker (picus], whose beak, piercing trees as 
a battering-ram pierces gates, and plume-like head-feathers 
suggested the idea of a bird of war. Hence it was a she-wolf 
that suckled Romulus and Remus, for the war-god himself 
was their father and thus the ancestor of the warlike Romans. 

206. So closely akin to Mars was Quirinus, the chief 
god of the Sabines settled on the Quirinal Hill, that it was 
possible for the worship of the two to completely coalesce. 
Nevertheless there remained by the side of the Flamen 
Martialis or special priest of Mars a particular Flamen 
Quirinalis, and by the side of the Palatine Salii of Mars there 
were twelve special Salii of Quirinus who had their seat on 
the Quirinal. While Mars however was regarded as the 
father of Romulus, Quirinus was in later times quite identified 
with Romulus. The ritual of the Quirina/ia, held on 
the i yth of February, seems to afford a further indication that 
he too was looked upon as an ancestral god. 

III. luppiter and luno. 207. The mightiest 
phenomenon that manifests itself in the atmosphere is the 
storm ; hence luppiter, to whose agency it is ascribed, is 
regarded like Zeus in Greece as the most potent god, who 


rules over all else. He carries as his weapon the thunderbolt 
and in the earliest times he is himself called Fulgur, the 
lightning. He gives signs by means of lightnings and birds 
to observe and interpret which was the function of the priestl) 
college of Augures ; but he sends also the fertilising storm- 
rain, and in continued drought he is hence called upon a 
Elicius, the evoker of the rain. Thus he becomes the 
dispenser of fertility and rich plenty, and has as his chie! 
quality liberalitas, generosity. From this point of view he 
bears the by-name of Liber. To him are held the festival 
connected with the culture of the vine, the VinaTia Rustica 
on the 1 9th of August, the Meditr malia on the nth oi 
October, and the Vlnalia of the 23rd of April. Agriculture, 
cattle-rearing, and the youthful population stand under his 
protection; a chapel of luventas ( youth ) hence formed 
part of his temple on the Capitol. 

208. The phenomena of the storm threatening man with 
destruction were on the other hand ascribed to a god that grew 
out of luppiter, Veiovis or Vediovis, i.e. the evil luppiter. 
His sanctuary stood between the two summits of the Capitoline 
Hill ; he himself was represented as youthful, with a bundle 
of thunderbolts or arrows in his hand. 

Summanus, the god of the nightly storms arising sub mane, 
towards morning, was similarly evolved out of luppiter. It 
remains questionable whether the old by-name Lucetius, the 
light or glistening one, designates luppiter as the god of 
the light of heaven, or whether it is not equally to be referred 
to the rlash of the thunderbolt, or glare of the storm. 

209. As luppiter Stator the mighty storm-god becomes a 
helper in battle, as Victor a dispenser of victory. To luppiter 
Feretrius the victorious general offers in dedication the spolia 
opima, the panoply of the enemy s commander whom he has 
slain with his own hand. His servants were the Fetiales, who 
with solemn ceremonies demanded satisfaction for outrages, 
proclaimed wars, and concluded treaties ; for his thunderbolt 
punished the perjured who wronged one of them. For the 
same reason luppiter was generally invoked as god of oaths ; 


Deus Fidius, the god of good faith, was actually designated 
as the Genius of luppiter, and the sanctuary of Fides, Good 
Faith conceived as a goddess, stood from the earliest times 
immediately by his Capitoline temple. In the latter was the 
sacred boundary-stone, the symbol of Terminus ( Boundary ), 
to characterise luppiter as the guardian of bounds and 

One of the oldest places of his worship was a sacred grove 
on the summit of the Alban Mount, where formerly the Latin 
communities under the presidency of Alba Longa had met to 
worship luppiter Latiaris, the protector of Latium. The 
younger Tarquinius built a temple there, as he built that on 
the Capitol. Here were celebrated the Feriae Lat mae with 
sacrifices and games ; and generals to whom the Senate had 
denied a regular triumph on the Capitol often proceeded to 
this sanctuary to dedicate their booty. 

210. When Rome however had won predominance in 
Latium, the temple on the southern height of the Capitol 
became the most revered place of his worship ; for in the same 
way as Rome herself dictated her laws to the world the 
Roman luppiter Capltolinus or Optimus Maximus ruled heaven 
and earth. He is the proper lord and guardian of the free 
state ; to him therefore the general on his triumphal return 
pays the due meed of thanks, riding in triumph up to the 
Capitol with the god s attributes and robes as his adornment, 
in order to lay the laurel of victory in the bosom of the god 
who vouchsafes success, and to dedicate in his temple the 
most precious part of the booty. In his honour were held 
the most important games, the Ludi Magnl, out of which 
later grew up the Ludi Roman i and Plebei. 

21 1. On the Capitol were venerated by his side his wife 
luno and his daughter Minerva. In consequence his temple 
had a triple cella ; the central department belonged to luppiter 
himself, that on his left to luno, and that on his right to 
Minerva. The combination of these three deities was indeed 
quite Greek in origin, but had been adopted in Etruria and 
thence transplanted towards the end of the royal age to Rome. 


The first servant of luppiter was the Flamen Dialis, who 
presented the offering on all the Ides or days of full moon 
all of which were sacred to luppiter, and in general on the 
festivals of this god ; his wife, the Flamin tca, is the priestes 
of luno. Their married life was meant to typify that of the 
divine pair which they represented. 

212. The worship of luno extended from early time 
over all Italy, especially among the Latins, Oscans, anc 
Umbrians ; among the first her name was given to a month 
lunius or lunonius, on the Calends of which was held in 
Rome the festival of luno Moneta ( the inspirer of love or 
admonisher ?), probably to commemorate her wedding with 
luppiter. This luno had an ancient temple on the Capitol ; 
in its precincts were kept the geese which were famous as the 
saviours of the city. As wife of luppiter Rex she is styled 
Regina, and among the Marsi, as a mere female complement 
to him, lovia Regena; her son Mars was born on the 1st ol 
March, on which the women celebrated in her honour the 
Matronal ia or matrons feast. All Calends, or days of new 
moon, are sacred to her, perhaps because she was also regarded 
as a moon-goddess. With this possibly is connected her 
by-name Lucetia, the glistening one, although the kindred 
name Lucina ( she who brings to the light ) characterised 
her as a goddess of delivery. luno Lucina, who on works 
of art often holds in her arms a child in swaddling-clothes, 
had a grove of hoary antiquity on the Esquiline, but was much 
worshipped throughout Italy. As goddess of wedlock she is 
also called luno luga or lugalis, the marriage-maker, or 
Pronuba, guide of the bride. The by-name of Sosplta, 
especially in use at Lanuvium, characterises her on the other 
hand as a guardian or saviour in general ; in this conception 
she is armed with shield and spear and wears a goatskin over 
her head, shoulders, and back. Like luppiter Rex, luno 
Regina carries the sceptre as emblem. 

IV. Deities of Death. 213. In Rome the idea of 
a uniform realm of the dead did not become general, and 
hence there was no development of independent deities con- 


ceived as its rulers. Only the approach of death was ascribed 
to the activity of a god of sometimes terrible and sometimes 
kindly power, who was styled Orcus ; his figure however 
was not developed with any completeness. By his side 
appears under various names a motherly nurse of the departed, 
who seems to be properly Mother Earth herself 1 (Tel/us or 
Terra Mater), in so far as the latter receives the dead into 
her bosom. From the Manes and Lares she is also named 
Mania or Lara and Larunda, from the Larvae A<via Larvarum 
or grandmother of the ghosts, and like the latter conceived 
in a hideous form. Finally she was called from the silence of 
the dead Dea Muta or Tacita, the mute goddess. Perhaps 
too Acca Larentia ( mother of the Lares ?), to whom 
funeral offerings were brought at the festival of the Larentalia 
on the 23rd of December, belongs to the same connection, for 
she appears like Tellus herself to have also the character of a 
goddess of earth s fertility. 

V. Personifications. 214. By transferring to the 
spheres of abstract thought and morals the conceptions which 
had aroused the belief in the Indigetes or spirits of actions, 
the Romans early arrived at a worship of real personifications. 
Among the oldest of these are Fortuna, the goddess of goo J 
luck, usually characterised by a rudder and horn of plenty ; 
Fides, Good Faith, with ears of corn and a basket of fruit ; 
Concordia, or Harmony, with a horn of plenty and patera ; 
Honos and Virtus, the god of Honour and the goddess repre 
senting valour, both equipped with arms ; Sfes or Hope, with 
a flower in her hand ; Pudicit ia or Chastity, veiled ; and Salus, 
or Salvation. Later were added Pietas, love for parents, 
Libertas, Freedom, Febns, the goddess of ague, dementia, 
Mildness, with a patera and sceptre, Pax, the goddess of 
peace, with the olive-branch ; and at last in the Imperial 
Age it became the custom to personify in the form of a 
woman characterised by appropriate attributes any abstract idea 
that took the fancy. 

1 As a mother Tellus was especially worshipped by the Fardicldia, 
a sacrifice of pregnant cows. 


VI. Deities of Foreign Origin. 215. Toward 
the end of the royal period the Etruscan cuhure, and through 
its medium that of Greece, which was already dominant in 
Lower Italy, gained influence in Rome also. Notably th 
Sibylline Books from Cumae, which contained a collection 
of Greek oracular utterances, led to the introduction of quiti 
a number of Greek worships into Rome. In this proces 
either the qualities of the foreign deity were transferred to 
one of the numerous native Spirits of Action to which it wa; 
itself nearly akin in character, or else the foreign name wa 
adopted together with the foreign conception. Thus Minervc 
originally was in all probability nothing but the divine powe 
effecting thought and understanding in man, and thereby thi 
tutelary spirit of artistic activity. Her inclusion in thi 
Capitoline trinity ( 21 1) she owes solely to her identification 
with Pallas Athena, whose qualities were transferred to her 
except that she did not become a true goddess of war. 

216. Similarly Venus, whose name is connected witl 
venustus and the German Ji^onne, had in the earliest times n< 
cult in Rome. She is the Greek Aphrodite, who from Lowe 
Italy and afterwards from Mount Eryx in Sicily founc 
entrance into Rome under this name, which perhaps belongs 
to an Indigital goddess, the giver of delight. Her oldes 
temple was raised in the grove of Libitina, a goddess o 
pleasure and death, and her by-names Murcia and Cloacim 
are certainly derived from localities. 

Furthermore, Mercurius in the first instance can only hav< 
been the Indigital god of merx and mercatura, the spirit o 
trade ; it was only by identification with Hermes that hi 
became a fully developed god. As however he alway. 
remained to a far greater degree than the latter the exclusivi 
deity of tradespeople, the purse appears in Italy as his regula: 

The case is similar with Hercules. Herakles, the favourit 
son of Zeus, who dispenses rustic plenty, was confused witl 
the creative Genius which was ascribed to luppiter as it wa 
to every man in general. In this quality he was joined i; 


wedlock to the luno who represents the productive power of 
woman ; then however this exclusively Italian conception so 
permeated the purely Greek legend that there arose a variety 
of contradictions with the tradition of the feud between Hera 
and Herakles. 

217. The service of Ceres in Rome is on the other hand 
purely Greek. The name, which in its origin certainly 
applied to an Indigital goddess, is closely related to ere sco and 
creo\ the personality of the goddess however is simply that 
of Demeter, who was introduced into Rome under this name 
in the year 496 B. c., and in whose worship so little change 
was made that even in Rome her priestesses had to be Greeks. 

Still more ancient, but no less purely Greek, is the worship 
of Apollo, in whose honour the Ludi Apollinares were held 
ever after 212 B.C. on July 13, on account of an utterance of 
the Sibylline Books. And the ruler of the nether world, 
Dis Pater, the husband of Proserpina, is Pluton-Hades taken 
over without change; Dis \sdives, the rich one, a translation 
of Pluton. 

218. In the year 204 B.C. was brought to Rome the 
sacred stone of the Magna Mater Idaea of Pessinus, Ma or 
Ammas. In 186 B.C. it was necessary to forcibly suppress the 
worship of Bacchus, as it was degraded by excesses. Then 
came Isis and Sarapis from Alexandria, and finally among 
many less important cults the Mysteries or secret rites of the 
Persian sun-god Mithras, which had already incorporated 
many thoughts and ceremonies of the now advancing Christian 
faith, so that the latter found in Rome, as in Greece, a soil 
well prepared to ensure its vigorous growth. 



The fullest collection of modern literature for Mytholog 
is furnished by A. Preuner in Bursian s Jahrbuch, Vol. 2 
and for Greek Mythology between the years 1886 and 189 
by Fr. Back, ibid. Vol. 26 ; for subsequent years see O 
Gruppe, ibid. Vol. 81. 

K. O. Mii Her, Prolegomena %u einer wissenschafiliche 
Mythologie, Gottingen, 1825. 

F. G. Welcker, Griechische Gotterlehre, Gottingen, 1857 

L. Preller, Gr. Mythologie, Berlin, 1854; 4th edition b 
C. Robert, 1887 1894; Rom. Mythologie, Berlin, 1858 
3rd edition by H. Jordan, 1881 1883. 

H. D. Miiller, Mythologie der griechischen Stamme, Gottin 
gen, 18571869. 

J. Overbeck, Griechische Kunstmythologie, Leipzig, 1871 f. 

W. H. Roscher, Studien zur vergleichenden Mythologie dt 
Griechen und Romer, Leipzig, 1873 ff. ; Studien zur griechis 
chen Mythologie und Kulturgeschichte vom vergleichenden Statm 
punkte, Leipz., 1878 ff. ; Ausfuhrliches Lexikon der griechischt 
und romischen Mythologie, Leipz., 1884 fF. 

W. Mannhardt, Antike Wald- und Feldkulte, Berlin, 1877 
Mythologische Forschungen, Strassburg, 1884. 

E. H. Meyer, Indogermanische My then, Berlin, 1883 f 
M. Mayer, Die Giganten und Titanen in der antiken Sage un 
Kunst, Berlin, 1887. 

U. von Wiiamowitz-MoellendorfF, Euripides Herakles, Vo 
I. Berlin, 1889; 2nd edition, 1896. 

E. Rohde, Psyche, Freiburg in B., 1890 1894. 

O. Gruppe, Die griechis chen Culte und My then in ihre 
Beziehungen zu den orientalischen Religionen, Leipz., 1887 fi 
Griechische Mythologie u. Religionsgeschichte, forming Vo 
V, part ii. of Iwan v. Miiller s Handluch d. klass. Alter 
tumsivissenschaft, Munich, 1897, etc. 


J. TopfFer, Attische Genealogic, Berlin, 1889. 

J. Langl, Grlechische Gotter- und Heroengestalten, Vienna, 

Pauly, Real- Encyclopaedic d. klass. Altertumswissenschaft, 
new ed. by G. Wissowa, Stuttgart, 1894 fF. 

F. Hoppe, Bilder zur Mythologie und Geschichte der Griechen 
und Romer, Vienna and Olmiitz, 1 896. 

A. Steuding, Denkmaler antiker Kunst, Leipz., 1896. 

F. von Andrian, Hohencultus, Vienna, 1891. 

P. D. C. de la Saussaye, Manual of the Science of Religion, 
London, 1891. 

Sir W. Smith, Classical Dictionary of Greek Biography, 
Mythology, etc., new ed., London, 1894. 

Max. Collignon, Manual of Mythology, London, 1890. 

E. Burnouf, Science of Religions, London, 1888. 

E. Clodd, Myths and Dreams, London, 1885. 

J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, new ed., in 3 voll., 
London, 1900. 

Andrew Lang, Custom and Myth, new ed., London, 1893. 

Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 2 voll., London, 


Miiller & Wieseler, Antike Denkmaler zur griech. Gotter- 
lehre ; 4th edition, in 2 voll., Leipzig, 1899, etc. 

Otto Gilbert, Griechische Gottcrlehre, Leipzig, 1899. 

J. G. Frazer, Pausanias Description of Greece, 6 voll., 
London, 1898. 

E. Rohde, Seelencult u. Unsterblichkeitsglaube der Griechen, 
2 voll., Freiburg, 1898. 

J. B. Carter, De Deorum Romanorum Cognominibus 
Quaestiones etc., Leipzig, 1898. 


(The numbers refer to the paragraphs.} 


\cheloos, 97, 146 

\cheron, 16 f. 

\chilleus, 79, 131, 177 ff~. 

Admetos, 162 

Adonis, 108 

Adrastos, 171, 173 

Aello, 21 

Aesculapius, 22 

Agamemnon, 131, 177 ff. 

Aganippe, 42 

Agenor, 123 

Aglaia, 41 

Aglauros, 38, 117 

Aia, 161, 163 

Aiakos, 18 

Ails, 179 

Aietes, 161, 164 f. 

Aigeus, 151 f, 154, 165 

A-igis. 3.. 59 

Aigisthos, 130 f. 

Aigle, 23 

Aigyptos, 126 f. 

Aineias, 109 

Aiolos, 104, 184 

Aisa, 119 

Aison, 161 

Aithiopes, 128, 133 

Aithra, 157 

Akamas, 157 

Alpheios, 97 

Altliaia, 159 

Amaltheia, 32, 146 

Amazons, 78 f, 133, 141, 155 

Ambrosia, 38 

Ammas : see Ma 

Amor : see Eros 

Amphiaraos, 4, 171 f. 
Amphion, 124 f. 
Amphitrlte, 92, 94 
Amphitryon, 136 f. 
Amykos, 166 
Ancestor-worship, 5 
Anchises, 109 
Ancilia, 205 
Androgeos, 153 
Andromeda, 128 
Angerona, 194 
Anna Perenna, 194 
Antaios, 142 
Anthesteria, 115 
Antigone, 170, 173 
Antiope, 124 
Apaturia, 62 
Aphrodite, 107 fF. 
Aphrodites, 109 
Apollon, 67 fF, 144, 217 
Apsyrtos, 165 
Arachne, 60 
Ares, 105 f. 
Arethusa, 97 
Argei, 192 
Argeiphontes, 126 
Argo, 161 
Argonautai, 161 fF. 
Argos, 86, 126 
Ariadne, 117, 153 
Anon, 72 

96, 173 

Aristaios, 70 
Armilustrium, 205 
Artemis, 75 fF. 
Asklepios, 22 f. 
Astarte, 108 




Asterie, 80 
Astraios, 104 
Atalante, 160 
Athamas, 163 
Athena, 53 ff. 
Atlas, 142 
Atreus, 130 f. 
Atropos, 119 
Augeias, 140 
Augures, 12, 207 
Aurora : see Eos 
Avia Larvarum, 113 

Bacchantes, 113 
Bacchos : tee Dionysos 
Baitylos, 12 
Bellerophontes, 133 
Bellona, 105 
Bona Dea, 199, 201 
Boreas, 104, 166 
Briseis, 178, 181 
Busiris, 142 

Cacus, 141 

Camenae, 191 

Carmenta, 191 

Ceres, 217 

Chalkeia, 56, 62 

Chads, 33, 105, 113 

Charites, 39, 41 

Charon, 17 

Charybdis, 93, 185 

Cheiron, 23, 139, 161 

Chimaira, 133 

Chrysaor, 59 

Chryseis, 178 

Chryses, 178 

Chytroi, 3 

Cities, personifications of, 44 

dementia, 214 

Concordia, 214 

Census, 198 

Cretan Bull, 141, 152 f. 

Cupido : tee Himeros 

Daemons, 6, 191 

Damastes, 151 

Danae, 36, 128 

Danai des, 127 

Danaos, 126 f. 

Dea Muta, Tacita, 213 

Dead, conjuration of, 3 ; judg 
ment of, 1 8 

Deianeira, 146 f. 

Deidameia, 156 

Deimos, 105, 107 

Delia, 70 

Delphyne, 69 

Demeter, 36, 45 ff. 

Demophon, 47, 156 

Despoina, 52 

Destiny : see Fate 

Di parentes, 188 

Diana, 203 

Di ke, 39, 43 

Diomedes, 141, 171 f. 

Dione, 36, 107 

Dionysia, 115 

Dionysos, 49, 113 ff, 153, 218 

Dioskoroi, i34f. 

Dirke, 124 

Discordia, 105 

Dis Pater, 24, 217 

Dithyrambos, 115 

DTus Fidius, 209 

Dragon, 106, 123, 142, 165 
164 f. 

Dreams, i, 4, 87, 149, 272 

Dryades, 99 

Earthquakes, 35, 63, 95 
Egeria, 191 

Eileithyla : see Ileithyia 
Eirene, 39, 43 
Elektra, 131 
Eleusinia, 49 ff. 
Elysion, 18, 123 
Endymion, 101 
Enyo, 105 
Eos, 103 
Epaphos, 126 
Epigonoi, 167, 174 



Epikaste, 168, 170 
Equirria, 205 
Erato, 42 

Erechtheus, 53, 55, 150 
Erichthonios, 44, 55 
Erinyes, 19 f, 106, 131, 174 
Eriphyle, 171 
Eris, 105 
Eros, 107, in f. 
Ersephoria, 56 
Erymanthian Boar, 139 
Erytheia, 141 
Eryx, 141 
Eteokles, 170 ff. 
Euanthes, 117 
Eumaios, 186 
Eumenides, 19 
Eunomia, 39, 43 
Euphrosyne, 41 
Europe, 1*3 
Euros, 104 
Euryganeia, 170 
Eurykleia, 186 
Eurynome, 64 
Eurystheus, 130, 137, 143 
Eurytos, 144 
Euterpe, 42 
Evander, 191, 199 

Fata, Fate, 119 
Fauna, 199, 201 
Faunus, 199 f. 
Febris, 214 
Feralia, 188 
Feriae Latinae, 210 
Feronia, 201 
Futiales, 209 
Fides, 209, 214 
Flamines, 206, 211 
Flora, 202 f. 
Fons, Fontus, 191 
Fortuna, 121, 214 
Furiae : tee Erinyes 

Gaia, Ge, 36, 44 
Galateia, 92 

Ganymedes, 38 
Genii, 188, 209 
Geryoneus, 141 
Giants, Gigantes, 34 
Glaukos, 91 

Gods, conceptions of, 7 ff. 
Gorgones, 59, 128 
Gratiae : see Charites 
Graves, worship at, 3 

Hades, 24, 46, 49, 143 
Haimon, 169 
Halieia, 100 
Hallos Geron, 91, 146 
Hamadryades, 99 
Harmonia, 107, 123 
Harpies, Harpyiai, 21, 166 
Haruspicina, 12 
Hebe, 37, 143 
Hekate, 80 f. 
Hektor, i8of. 

Helena, 131, I34f, 156, 179 
Helios, 100, 185 
Helle, 163 
Hellotia, 123 
Heosphoros, 102 
Hephaisteia, 62 
Hephaistos, 56, 62 ff. 
HGra, 37, 126, 136 f, 143 
Herakles, 136 ff, 162 
Hercules, 143, 216 
Hermaphrodites, 109 
Hermes, 82 ff, no, 126 
Hermione, 131 
Heroes, 41", 18, 123 ff. 
Herse, 55 
Hesperides, 142 
Hestia, 66 

Hileithya : see Ileithyia 
Himeros, 112 
Hippodameia, 130, 156 
Hippokrene, 42, 59 
Hippolyte, 141, 155 
Hippolytos, 155 
Hippomedon, 171 
Hippomenes, 160 




Honos, 214 

Kalliope, 42 

Horai, 39, 43 

Kallynteria, 57 

Hyades, 116 

Kalydon, Hunt of, 159 f. 

Hyakinthia, 70 

Kalypso, 1 82 f, 185 

Hyakinthos, 71 

Kapaneus, 171 f. 

Hybris, 120 

Karneia, 70 

Hydra, 138 

Karpo, 43 

Hygieia, 23, 54 

Kastalia, 42 

Hyllos, 147 

Kastor, I34f, 

Hyperboreioi, 73 

Kedalion, 63 

Hype rmestra, 127 

Kekrops, 150 

Hypnos, 24 

Kentauroi (Centaurs), 139 


lacchos, 49, 114 

Kepheus, 128 

Ian us, 191, 194^ 

Kerberos, 17, 143 

lasion, 47 

Keres, 3, 105 

laso, 23 

Kerkopes, 145 

lason, 161 ff. 

Kerkyon, 151 

Idas, 135 

Kerykeion, 85 

Ileithyla, 37, 75 

Keryneia, Hind of, 139 

Inachos, 126 

Keto, 91 

Incubatio, 4 

Kikones, 184 

Indigetes, 190 

Kilix, 123 

Infer!, 188 

Kirke, 81, 185 

Ino, 92, 123, 163, 183 

Kleio, 42 

16, 126 

Klotho, 119 

lokaste, 168, 170 

Klymene, 100 

lolaos, 138 

Klytaimestra, 131, 134 

lole, 144, 147 

Klytia, 100 

Ion, 150 

Kokytos, 1 6 

Iphigeneia, 131 

Kore, 46 ff. 

Iphitos, 144 

Kreon, 137, 165, 168 f. 

Iris, 103 

Kreusa, 150 

Isis, 218 
Islands of the Blest, 18 

Krommyon, Sow of, 151 
Kronos, 32, 45, 198 

Ismene, 170 

Kybele, 32, 78 

Isthmia, 94 

Kyklopes, 33, 63, 184 

Itonoi, 145 

Kyknos, 145 

luno, 1 88, 211 f, 216 

luppiter (Jupiter), 26, 207 ff. 

Labdakos, 168 

IQturna, 191 

Labyrinth, 153 

luventas, 207 

Lachesis, 119 

Ixion, 139 

Ladon, 142 

Laertes, 186 

Kadmos, 123, 166 

Laios, 1 68 f 

Kalais, 166 

Laistrygones, 185 


Lamios, 145 

Lapithai, 156 

Lara, 213 

Lares, 189 
| Larvae, 188 
j Latona : see Leto 

Laurel, 68, 72, 115 

Leda, 134 
i Lemures, 188 

Lemuria, 188 

Lenaia, 115 

Lerna, Hydra of, 138 

Lethe, 16 
, Leto, 73, 77, 125 

Leukothea, 92, 183 

Liber Pater, 200 

Libera, 200 

Libertas, 214 

Libitina, 216 

Lichas, 147 

Linos, 137 

Lotophagoi, 184 
" Lucifer, 102 

Lucina, 212 

Ludi, 198, 202, 210, 217 

Luna : see Selene 

Lupercalia, 199 

Lurjerci, 129 

Lykaia, 29 

Lykaon, 29 

Lykomedes, 157 

Lykos, 124 

Lykurgos, 117 

Lynkeus, 127 f. 

Ma, 78, 113, 218 
Machaon, 23 
Magna Mater, 218 
Maia, 88, 197 
Mainades, 113 
Manes, 188 
Mania, 213 

Marathon, Bull of, 152 
Mars, 104 f, 112 
Marsyas, 98 
Miter Matuta, 203 

Matralia, 203 

Matronalia, 212 

Medeia, 81, 152, 161, 164 f. 

Meditrinalia, 207 

Medusa, 59, 128 

Megara, 137 

Meilanion, 160 

Meleagros, 159 f. 

Melikertes, 92 

Melpomene, 42 

Melqart, 92, 149 , 

Memnon, 103 

Men, creation of, 65 ; sacrifice 

of, 2, 29, 70, 105, 131, 153, 

163, 192, 203, 205 
Menelaos, 131, 179, 182 
Menestheus, 157 
Menios, 140 
Mercurius, 84, 216 
Metis, 39, 60 
Minerva, 211, 215 
Minos, 18, 123, 153 
Minotauros, 152 f, 158 
Minyas, 117 
Mithras, 218 
Mnemosyne, 42 
Moirai, 39, 119, 159 
Moon, 100 f, 203 
Muses, 39, 42, 114, 191 
Myrmidones, 180 
Mysteries, 49 rf, 218 

Naiades, 99 
Narkissos, 46 
Nausikaa, 184 
Nectar, 38 
Nekysia, 3 
Nemean Lion, 138 
Nemesia, 3, 120 
Nemesis, 120, 135 
Nephele, 139, 163 
Neptunus, 193 
Nereides, 92 
Nereus, 91 
Nessos, 147 
Nestor, 180, 182 


Nether World, 17 ff, 24, 213 
Nightmares, i 
Nike, 31, 54, 61 
Nile, 97 
Niobe, 125, 130 
Notes, 104 
Numa, 191, 205 
Nymphs, 99, 1 16 

Odysseus, 182 tf. 

Ogygia, 183 

Oidipus, 167 ff. 

Oineus, 146, 159, 171 

Oinomaos, 130 

Oinopion, 117 

Okeanos, 91 

Okypete, 21 

Omphale, 145 

Ops, 198 

Oracles, 12, 44, 68 f, 149, 172 

Orcus, 213 

Oreiades, 99 

Oreithyia, 104 

Orestes, 131 

Orgia, 113, 218 

Orion, 77, 102 

Orpheus, 18, 42, 116 

Oschophoria, 115, 154 

Palaimon, 92 

Pales, 202 f. 

Pallas, 152 

Pallas Athena: see Athena 

Pan, 90 

Panakeia, 23 

Panathenaia, 57 

Pandaros, 179 

Pandora, 65 

Pandrosos, 55 

Panionia, 94 

Parcae, 119 

Paris, 109, 131, 179 

Parthenopaios, 171 

Pasiphae, 153 

Patroklos, 180 f. 

Pax, 214 

Pegasos, 59, 133 

Peirithoos, 156 

Peitho, 107 

Pelias, 161 f. 

Pelops, 130 

Penates, 189, 196 

Penelope, 183, 186 

Pentheus, 117 

Periphetes, 151 

Perse, 164 

Persephone, 24, 52, 156 

Perses, 80 

Perseus, 128 

Personifications, 39, 44, 105, 1 1: 

1 20 f, 214 
Phaethon, 100 
Phaiakes, 183 
Phaidra, 155, 157 
Philoitios, 186 
Philoktetes, 147 
Phlneus, 166 
Phobos, 105, 107 
Phoibos (Phoebus): see Apollo 
Phoinix, 123 
Pholos, 139 
Phorkys, 91 
Phosphorc.s, 102 
Phrixos, 163 
Pietas, 214 
Pittheus, 151 
Pityokamptes : see Sinis 
Pleiades, 102 
Pluton, 24: see Hades 
Plutos, 43, 47 
Plynteria, 57 
Podaleirios, 23 
Poias, 147 

Pollux: see Polydeukes 
Polybos, 1 68 
Polydeukes, 134 f, 166 
Polymnia, 42 
Polyneikes, 170 ff. 
Polypemon, 151 
Polyphemos, 92, 184 
Pomegranate, 46 
Pomona, 200 



Pontifices, 190, 192, 196 
Portunus, 195 
Poseidon, 52 f, 94 ff, 150 f. 
Pothos, 112 
Praxidikai, 19 
Prayer, 10 
Priamos, i&o 
Priapos, 117 
Procharisteria, 56 
Proitos, 117 
Prokrustes, 151 
Prometheus, 65, 142 
Proserpina, 200 
Proteus, 91 
Psyche, 16, 112 
Pudicitia, 214 
Purification, 10, 29,72 
Pyanopsia, 154 
Pylades, 131 
Pyriphlegethon, 16 
Pythia, 68 
Pythian Games, 69 
Python, 69 

Quinquatrus, 205 
Quirinus, 206 

Rlligi5, 9 
Remus, 205 
Rex Sacrorum, 194 
Rhadamanthys, 18, 123 
Rhea, 33, 45, 78 
River-gods, 97, 192 
Robigus, 202 
Romulus, 205 f. 

Sabazios, 49, 113 

Sacrifice, n ; see Men 

Salii, 205 f. 

Salus, 214 

Sarapis (Serapis), 218 

Saturnus, 198 

U..*.. ... OA 

OdtUl 11U3, 

Satyrs, 89 
Seirios, 102 
Selene, 90, 100 f. 
Semele, 36, 116, 


Semnai, 19 

Sibylline Books, 193, 215 

Silenoi, 98 

Silvanus, 200 

Sinis, 151 

Sirens, 185 

Sisyphos, 132 

Skiron, 151 

Skirophoria, 56 

Skylla, 93, 185 

Snake, 3, 33, 114, 123, 133, 135, 

137, 188 
Sol : see Helios 
Solymoi, 133 
Souls, i ff, 15 ff, 87, 114, i88f.; 

in beasts, 3 
Spartoi, 123, 137 
Spes, 214 
Sphinx, 169 
Staphylos, 117 
Stars, 102 

Storms, 26, 33, 207 
Strophios, 131 
Stymphalos, birds of, 139 
Styx, 16 f. 
Summanus, 208 
Sun, 33, 73, 100 f. 
Syleus, 145 
Symplegades, 166 
Synoikia, 154 

Tainiai, 9, 41, 112 
Tantalos, 19, 129 
Tartaros, 18, 33 
Teiresias, 170 
Telamon, 179 
Telemachos, 182, 186 
Tellus, 213 
Terminus, 209 
Terpsichore, 42 
TSthys, 91 
Thaleia, 41, 42 
Thallo, 43 
Thanatos, 24, 112 
Thargelia, 70 
Themis, 39, 43, 119 



Thersandros, 174 
Theseia, 157 

Theseus, 141, 143, 150 ff. 
Thesmophoria, 48 
Thetis, 64, 92, 178 f. 
Thrinakia, 100, 185 
Thyestes, 130 
Thyiades, 113 
Tiberinus, 192 
Tilphossa, 106 
Titanes, 33, 116 
Tithonos, 103 
Tityos, 73 
Tragedy, 115 
Tree-worship, 7, 27 
Trinakria: see Thrinakia 
Triptolemos, 48 
Triton, 91 
Trivia, 80 
Trophonios, 22 
Tubilustrium, 205 
Tyche, 121 
Tydeus, 171 f, 179 
Tyndareos, 134 
Typhoeus, 35 

Ulixes : set Odysseus 
Orania, 42 
tJranos, 36, 109 

Veiovis, 208 
Venus, 216 
Ver Sacrum, 205 
Vertumnns, 200, 203 
Vesta, 189, 195 f. 
Victoria : see Nike 
Vinalia, 207 
Virtus, 214 
Volcanus (Vulcan), 197 

Water, 91 ff, 191 ff. 
Wind, 104, 184 
Wolf, 29, 72, 205 

Zagreus, 116 
Zephyros, 103 f. 
Zet s, 1 66 
Zethos, 124 

Zeus, 26 ff. ; Asterios, 123, 153 
Chthonios, 24, 32 

(For names sometimes if tit -with initial A F,, C, J, and OE, see respectively 
under AI, K, I, and 01 J 

Mchard Claj V Sou, Limited, London Of Bun S aj. 




taken by Eos or Dawn (Latin Aurora), the sister of Helios 
and Selene. As giver of the morning dews she carries 
pitchers in her hands. To denote the brightness of the 
break of day she has a saffron-yellow robe, arms and fingers 
of rosy splendour, and wings of a brilliant white ; on account 
of her speed she is often portrayed as riding on a car. Her 
spouse is Tithonos, a brother of Priamos ; her son Memnon 
is killed by Achilleus. Like Orion, she carried away 
Tithonos as a comely stripling, and obtained for him from 
Zeus immortality but not eternal youth ; hence he withers 
away by her side and lives a wretched life in a decrepit old 
age until, according to later story, he is changed into a cicada. 

The speed with which the rainbow casts its span from 
heaven to earth makes Iris, who typifies it, the gods mes 
senger ; to her therefore pertain great wings, a short garment 
of rainbow hue, and the herald s staff (K^pw/ceiov). In the 
older parts of the Iliad she is the messenger of Zeus ; later 
her place in his service is taken by Hermes, while she her 
self is henceforth an attendant of Hera. As the rainbow was 
deemed the harbinger of rain, she was wedded to Zephyros, 
the rain-wind. 

104. The gods of the winds were conceived in the oldest 
times under the form of horses, like the Harpies described 
above ( 21), whom they often pursue as enemies or lovers ; 
later they appear as widely striding bearded men with wings 
on their shoulders and often also on their feet. Sometimes 
they are depicted with a double face looking forwards and 
backwards, which doubtless refers to the change in the direc 
tion of the wind. In earlier ages they were distinguished only 
into Boreas (North wind), Zephyros (West wind), Notos 
(South wind), and somewhat later Euros (East wind), who 
are accounted sons of Astraios ( Starry Heaven ) and Eos 
( Dawn ). Like the Harpies, they are by nature robbers; 
Boreas in particular ravishes away the lovely Oreithyia, the 
daughter of Erechtheus, from the banks of the Ilissos perhaps 
a picture of the morning mist swept away by the wind. Their 
lord is Aiolos ( Swift ), who dwells on a floating island in 


the far West, and keeps the winds inclosed in a cavern, the 
Cave of the Winds. 

VIII. Ares and Aphrodite. 105. Ares (compare 
dpeiW, apioTos, dper^) was originally the chief god of Thracian 
tribes that had forced their way into Thessaly, Boiotia, and 
Phokis, and was probably also like Hades a death-god dwelling 
in the depths of earth. In his native land human sacrifices were 
offered to him. As befitted the character of his worshippers, he 
developed into the furious god of war, and in this quality alone 
he was allowed entrance into Greece. From his ancient 
by-name JSiyoBot t which seemingly is connected with the 
wild cry of battle, arose his attendant the murderous war- 
goddess Enyo (Latin Bellono}) and later were associated 
with him in the same way Deimos and Phobos, Eris the god 
dess of strife (Latin Discordta), and the Keres, the bringers 
of death in battle, figured as black women in bloody garb, 
who are strictly to be regarded as themselves souls of the 
dead. He represents however merely the power of war s 
brute violence, and hence must give way before Athena and 
her favourites. 

1 06. In Greece Ares is reckoned the son of Zeus and 
Hera ; and in Thebes, the most important seat of his worship, 
his wife is Aphrodite. The latter s place however was 
earlier held by the Erinys Tilphossa, a death-goddess and 
well-spirit, by whom Ares begot the dragon (his own image) 
that dwelt in a cavern by a spring near the historic city. 
Later epos, probably taking the Lemnian point of view, con 
nects Aphrodite with Hephaistos as his wife and makes Ares 
her paramour. Her place was occupied by the nymph 
Aglauros in Athens, where he was worshipped on the Areios 
Pagos or Hill of Ares as presiding over manslayers atone 
ment and trial for bloodshed. 

Art figures Ares as a man of youthful strength, in older 
times bearded and fully armed, later beardless and wearing 
only a helmet and chlamys. His symbol is the spear, in 
ritual the torch, which probably indicates the devastation 
wrought by war.